Inevitably, we end up planting our 1st, 2nd, and possibly 3rd rotation of lettuce transplants all at once. This not a big deal, it just tends to stack up a lot of lettuce at one time. Thankfully, lettuce mostly matures at the same time. “Mostly” being the operative word.
All crops have a range of maturity, and with lettuce we will be harvesting the over achievers first and letting the laggards mature for a later harvest date. For now, I am happy to report that 2500 red leaf, green leaf, and romaine lettuce starts are in the ground. And it is a good thing, because plantings 4 and 5 are close behind!
This weekend we are also driving T-posts and stringing the peas. The same weather that tossed a wrench in our transplant schedule also impacted our ability to cultivate the peas with the tractor. In a perfect situation, we would have been able to “hill” them and smother the weeds in the row and kill a bunch of weeds outside the rows. This year there wasn’t a dry enough window to do that and so now we are going to be hand hoeing.
It isn’t a big deal, maybe an extra 3 hours compared to 10 minutes with the tractor. On the bright side, the peas look great! They just grew beyond the point where I was comfortable tractor weeding. Those peas are off to a great start! Think mid to late June for a harvest date.
And since we are talking about peas, next week we are harvesting Pea Vines and Tendrils. I know, you are thinking “fancy.” Actually, I am thinking that the cover crop I planted last fall to protect and nurture the soil is lush and green and ready to harvest. We didn’t plan to harvest these for food, but I am now. They taste absolutely amazing. The tops of pea plants are very tender and taste surprisingly like peas. They will make a great addition to salads or stir fries. Joanna and I just graze them like Peter Rabbit or Bambi might, helping ourselves to a top here and another there as we mosey along.
Now to be clear, while pea vines are very tasty, I am not willing to harvest Pea Vines that will become SUPER SUGAR SNAP PEAS in the near future! Nope, nada, never. So, I essentially have two different varieties of peas, Austrian Winter Peas and Sugar Snap Peas. Both produce tasty pea vines and tendrils, but the Sugar Snap Peas produce those big, plump, juicy, green peas and it would be a culinary shame to eat those vines. That being said, the Austrian Winter Peas are ready to harvest and provide a splash of local farm goodness!
Cheers to your health!