Monday, June 4, 2012

June Veggies and Recipes

Marigolds in Pot on Front Steps
Birthday Gift to Self: Front Step Guest-Greeter

Calling All June Dragons

Although I enjoy every month for its unique gifts, if I had to choose a favorite it would be June. Longer days and warm weather boost growth in the garden. My birthday and the summer solstice are causes for celebration. School time ends and summer begins, heralding the season of vacations and staycations. The very short cherry season comes and goes, and raspberries and apricots ripen. In the northern hemisphere flowers are everywhere, both on the central CA coast and in places where winters are harsher.

Pot of Basil with Strawberry Baskets
Squirrel-proofed Young Basil
Today is the full Dragon moon of the Chinese year of the Water Dragon, the most dragonishly energetic day of the year, sparking both creativity and money-making. Closer to home, we call June’s moon the Strawberry moon, and indeed  June strawberries are at their flavor peak. I’ll be visiting a farm (Live Earth Farm) to pick some, how about you?

With June’s wealth of fruits, I’ll be firing up my canning equipment to try making raspberry jam and perhaps my mother’s strawberry-pineapple jam. I’ll also be canning some cherries in light honey syrup, similar to my all-time popular post, Berries in Light Honey Sauce.

Three Rose Blossoms
Roses Are Edible if Organic
Hotter weather and plenty of varieties of CSA lettuce inspire me to make more salads, and to post salad recipes. Perhaps we’ll even have local cherry tomatoes to add by the end of the month. Lots of CSA green garlic and cooking greens on hand, so I’ll be experimenting to see which greens work best with green garlic. Be sure to post a comment if you have some experience with this!

For those whose gardens are challenged by gophers, I’ll be posting some tips mid-month after taking a class in non-chemical gopher eradication. To the four-footed rodents who share my property: the third rose was one rose too many!

Enjoy your month, and happy almost-summer. 

Closeup of Tomato Flowers
Cherry Tomatoes by End of June?

June Veggies & Fruits: For Recipes, click links

Asian Greens: Mizuna, Tatsoi, Bok Choy
Summer Squash (end of month)
Raspberries (end of month)
Apricots (we hope)

Three Large Green Apricots on Tree
Promise of Summer Fruit

Favorite & New June Recipes

Green Garlic Bok Choy with Ginger Lime Sauce
Microwave Steamed Veggies (broccoli, chard, summer squash, link to winter squash)


  1. Hi,

    I see you've put little boxes in your basil and say it squirrel-proofs them. Stupid question: does that work, and what do the boxes accomplish to keep the little thieves out?


    1. Hi Pat,

      Thanks for the question!

      It's really more of a squirrel-deterrent than squirrel proofing. They still get into the pots and dig, but the boxes crowd them so they don't damage the plants as readily. Of course, they do sometimes knock the boxes off, so I check them every night. Eventually the plant grows big enough to remove the boxes.

      Another (better) thing that I discovered recently for discouraging squirrels is "gorilla hair" mulch. It's shredded redwood bark, or sometimes called redwood mulch. The brand that I use is Redigrow. The mulch has long rough fibers. The texture itself seems unpleasant to squirrels (I wear gloves when I put it on), but the long fibers also make a tangled mat that is less easily disturbed when they do dig holes. It's easy to close the small digging holes up by rearranging the mulch.

      I would still use the strawberry boxes with the redigrow when plants are very small. Put the boxes over the seedlings in the beginning, and build up the mulch around the box to hold it in place. Then remove the boxes when plant gets too tall for them, and build the mulch up around the plant itself.

      Good luck with the little varmints!