A World Where It’s Always June

“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.”

So wondered Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables fame after strolling through the spice and bloom of a garden. It’s only our first year here at Dancing Seeds Farm, but June is proving to be one of our favorites so far. The sun’s out, the produce is flourishing, the hens are happily laying eggs.

What We’re Growing
 
Vegetables: Last month we harvested chops and other braising greens along with flowering broccoli and early spring onions. Right now we’ve got lettuces, garlic scapes, beets and kohlrabi, and bunching onions available. Coming any day now: cabbages, collards, and peas.
Microgreens: We’ve got some for every preference: red cabbage, spicy salad mix, amaranth, and dill.
Still confused about microgreens? Think of them as young greens with intense flavor, best enjoyed raw. We sell them in their growing mediums to prolong their lives; all you have to do is snip them as you would any plant, wash, and toss them into your salad or eat them as a snack. (And please return or recycle the trays when you’re done.)
Herbs: It’s that time of year when beautiful basils are longing for your attention, along with fragrant mint, hearty rosemary, classic oregano, versatile thyme, and so many different types of sage.
Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary with fresh summer herbs! Use basil in lieu of lettuce on your next BLT. Add mint to your favorite shrub or lemonade. Use a sprig of rosemary to brush marinade on grilled chicken or fish.  Toss oregano ribbons into your favorite pasta or potato salad. Switch up your pesto and use stage instead of basil. And sprinkle thyme everywhere, including your homemade strawberry jam.
Fruits: Speaking of strawberries, we’ve just tasted our first crop. They’re delicious! And they confirm that summer has truly arrived. Watch for these little red darlings soon.
What Else We’ve Been Doing
Obviously our primary focus these past few weeks has been our vegetable garden. But several other big projects have been underway, too.
Getting our hoop houses and trellises up: After studying the sun, wind, and soil, we’ve decided to erect one hoop house on the south side of our barn and one on the north. The southern one is currently housing peppers, the northern tomatoes and eggplants. The cucumbers are trellised now, too!
Planting trees:  Nick, a seasonal kayak guide from Maine, is one of our summer part-timers. He’s been helping Greg plant lots of trees for an abundant future: three types of oak (Garry, Bur, and Scarlet); three varieties of chestnut, two types of English walnut; and three varieties of pine nut trees. (Greg says the nuts from these trees, when combined with basil and garlic from our gardens, will make pesto in epic proportions the likes of which SJI has never before seen or tasted!) You’ll have to wait a few years for those nuts, but in the meantime you can use store-bought nuts to practice making pesto with our garlic scapes and basil and this recipe.
Each tree has been buddied with one or more guild plants to build soil, repress grasses, repel pests, attract beneficial insects, and build nitrogen. Some of these guild plants, like Seabuckthorn, also produce edible berries and are high in vitamin and mineral content.
Getting the irrigation system up and running: This is no small feat for a farm that’s been sitting idle for several years and which has a complex labyrinth of underground pipes configured over the past several decades! We also have two wells for ground water, three storage tanks, a 1.3 million gallon pond fed by rain and water catchment, a UV and sand filtering system, and all sorts of spigots and other irrigation components that needed to be located, studied, and/or repaired. While our ongoing goal is to keep our plants healthy and happy, we are also ever mindful about the need for water efficiency and conservation.
Building our farm store garden: The garden next to the store was once a berry patch. We rescued the blueberries and lingonberries but re-designed the rest of this space to accommodate a variety of pollinators, perennials, and native plants. We fondly call this our Zen garden and hope it will eventually serve as an aesthetic, culinary, and therapeutic treasure trove for farmers, visitors, and customers. Be sure to check out our progress the next time you’re at our farm store!
What’s Coming Up
Wednesday, July 11: Mark your calendars for Body Mechanics in the Garden, a workshop we’ll be hosting to help keep you healthy and safe as you dig, bend, and lift in your gardens this summer. Lori Ann David of Aurora Farms and Susie Nichols of Hand to Shoulder Therapy will facilitate the workshop.
Saturday, August 25: Save the date for a spectacular arm to Table Dining Experience, featuring our own produce along with produce and meats from other local sources. This event will be curated by Matia Dinner Series.
We’ll post details on our website as soon as know more.
Where You Can Find Us
Watch for the “Open” sign at our farm store. We’re generally open Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 3 to 7pm but hours can vary.
Also look for our products in select Friday Harbor restaurants, at the San Juan Island Co-op, and at the San Juan Island Farmer’s Market 

 

And of course, we’re around the Internet, too. Follow us!

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