Friday, April 6, 2012

April Veggies and Recipes

Bunny Yard Sculpture with Orange Poppies
Local Bunny Among California Poppies

April Showers Bring May Flowers

April is one of my favorite months. I feel joyful watching plants burst forth with new growth.  In days past, here on the central CA coast, April was the end of the rainy season. Puffy white clouds arose and suddenly merged into gray skies, dumped a surprising quantity of cold rain, then dispersed, leaving skies sunny again. These days, the climate is different; heavier rains are falling later into May and June, and we hope for more substantial April showers for our crops and water table.

Branch of Dogwood with Two Opening Blossoms
Emerging Dogwood
On local farms, cool weather crops are a mixture of new spring veggies and veggies that have grown throughout the winter. Fresh young greens, garlic, scallions, lettuces, asparagus, and (later this month) strawberries and fava beans are coming into season. Winter crops like cabbages, carrots, chard, kale, broccoli, beets, and lemons are still flourishing. Avocados and oranges are in season in southern CA, flavorful and inexpensive. Other fruits and veggies have been in cold storage since last fall’s harvest, and are still good eating options: apples, winter squashes, dry (not green) onions, potatoes, and home-canned tomatoes. It’s a good time to thaw the baked tomato sauce and preserved basil from last year.

Branch of Apricot Tree with Fruit and Flower
Tiny Apricots on Our Tree

April Veggies & Fruits: For Recipes, click links

Avocados (beginning of season)
Bok choy (baby)
Fava beans (beginning of season)
Greens: arugula, mei qing choi, tatsoi, mizuna
Oyster mushrooms (cultivated year round)
Onions (stored)
Potatoes (stored)
Winter squash (stored)
Oranges (end of season)
Strawberries (beginning of season)
Apples (stored)

Cilantro in Basket with Mint in Yard
Cilantro from Farm with Mint in Garden

Favorite & New April Recipes

Broccoli Salad with Sesame (Oshitashi), NEW!
Sunshine Beets (use fresh orange juice!)

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