By Adam Calder, Produce Manager
Much like a mighty thunderstorm, spring has rolled across the plains, and in its wake the land has come alive once again. The trees have all their leaves, the flowers are blooming, the birds sing and the bunnies are bouncing.
This cool, wet spring weather is helping Lee’s Greens provide us with some really tasty red, green and romaine heads of lettuce. They add flavor and crunch to any salad and are a welcome addition to sandwiches and wraps. We’ve also been getting some tender and delicious baby spring mix, baby spinach, baby red kale, baby green kale, baby collard greens, arugula and bunches of full grown rainbow chard.
Our Iowa spring weather has also been a great boon to the asparagus out at Iowa Asparagus LLC in Ankeny. We get this delicious asparagus delivered fresh weekly and it is often picked the day we order it! This gives us a product with excellent shelf life, exceptionally good flavor and a delightfully crisp texture. The only way to get fresher asparagus would be to eat some right out in the field. Really fresh asparagus has a patina of naturally occurring yeast on it that you also often find on really fresh cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale and collard greens. You can see it, like a fine film that covers the tips of the asparagus. At this stage of freshness, the asparagus also squeaks when the stalks rub against each other. These signs of freshness fade after a week or so, and are rarely seen on asparagus that goes through larger distribution channels.
We have an exceptionally diverse variety of seedlings this spring, with plants from Onion Creek Farm, Wabi Sabi Farm and the ISU Horticultural Research Station. There are tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, fennel, kohlrabi, onions, kale, lettuce and herbs galore. They are healthy, strong, vibrant little plants and they want to go home with you to live in your garden.
Stay tuned for local blueberries and raspberries from The Berry Patch in Nevada, IA. We usually start carrying those mid-June if the weather cooperates and if Judy and Dean can hire enough nimble fingered pickers to bring in their berry bounty.