From the Field:
April Showers Bring... SQUASH!!
April is the month that heralds the beginning of the summer harvest. Summer squashes are always the first to come out and say "Hello!". Whether your favorite is zucchini, yellow crookneck, yellow zucchini or straight-neck squash they are always the earliest to come and generally the last to leave your garden party. They are delightful as can be in the beginning, and we are always so excited about the first harvests. Sarah and I fight over the baby squashes that need to be plucked off in March to ensure the plant gets big enough to bear well through the season. They are so tender and pretty cute to boot, that they are a real prize to who gets them in to cook in the kitchen first.
Squash are notorious for being BIG producers. For those of you that have grown squashes before, you are well aware of how productive they are. When they are at their peak production stage, every couple of days or so you will have a brand new adult squash to garnish your kitchen counter. Getting creative in the kitchen with squash is an absolute necessity. You will be scouring cookbooks and the internet for 100+ ways to cook it. You may also discover that zucchini bread doesn't really use up that much zucchini! So in light of the squash-bundance, just for you all, check out our recipe section because we have found some delicious new ones for this 2014 squash season. Sarah even found a pretty creative recipe for a cocktail that includes it! One thing to remember about squash is not only can you eat the squash, but also the flowers! Squash, as many things do in the garden, have male flowers that you can trim off for stuffing. How in the world do you tell which is a male and which is a female flower you ask? Here's how - When you look at the plant you will see there are some flowers that have a baby squash at their base with a flower attached (pictured above) - these are the females. There are other flowers that just have a stem, no fruit attached, these are the males. If you intend to stuff them with an herbed ricotta and batter and fry them, (highly recommended!) leave the stem long so you have a handle to hold onto when frying. Your fingertips will thank me later for that tip.
Moving on from the delectable squash, April is the month that we really start gearing up for the Arcadia Edible Garden Tour coming up May 10th. We are hoping to see your friendly faces there! If you haven't thought of a good gift for Mom on Mother's Day... why not bring her to the garden tour and then have a nice lunch in the Arcadia area at any of the fab restaurants that are very nearby?!
Click here to get your tickets!
We have been spending lots of time gearing and up and improving on the farm. We have made BIG changes to the backyard and can't wait to show tour goers how we grow and what we grow here in the middle of the city of Phoenix! This year we will also have a mini-farmer's market here on the patio for you too!
From our herd to yours, wishing you abundant harvests!
Your Farmyard Farmers - Sarah, Rebecca, & Troy
Come on, click here to give us a like for daily updates from the farm! :)
Gardening Gal Tip for April:
When Do You Put Up Shade Cloth
Now is the time for you to prepare your garden space for the upcoming hot weather and start thinking about shading your lovely veggies. When the temperature get to be about 100 degrees consistently in the afternoon, most of your plants will appreciate a little protection from that blazing sun. When looking to purchase shade cloth for your garden, we recommend using 40-50% shade percentage. Your plants still need sun, just not the temperatures that go with it. In addition, treat your plants right and build them a little cabana to keep the fabric off of them. This can be something very simple like PVC pipe hoops going over the garden with the shade cloth draped over
or if your tomato plants are going crazy like ours are right now, you may want to consider a taller, custom structure like the one below so they don't grow through it and hamper their growth.
We can help you with this! If you would like Farmyard to make a shade structure for your garden please contact us.