It is the longest day of the year. It’s the first day of summer. Actually, I bet almost all of you slept through it as the exact time was at 1:04am precisely. From this point forward we lose sunlight. Luckily we view summer solstice as more than a moment in time but rather a day of a season or a season of the year. For some, today marks midsummer and first harvest.
I celebrate first harvest since I am a bit of a naturalist. And since I've been picking from my garden for the last few weeks I thought I'd talk about reaping (not The Reaping, but I sure did love The Hunger Games) what I've sown.
If you were ambitious a month or so ago out in a patch of dirt with some seed packets, I hope you've been paying attention. The heavens above have been doing more than a great job of keeping everything watered and the sun shows itself often enough for things to grow. If you haven't been weeding, jump on it. Weeding every five days or so takes no time at all compared to procrastinating and spending hours doing it and trying to find the plants you put there on purpose.
Some fruits and veggies ready for picking right now are strawberries, radishes, lettuce, spinach, endive, and mesclun. I put my garden in May 16th and I've been picking all of these. I also have cilantro ready to use, as well as basil and parsley. If you don’t have a garden, these types of foods will be at their freshest if you shop at a local market.
Are you a late bloomer (pun intended)? Just getting interested in this gardening thing? Right now the DIY stores are marking down some of their seedlings. Last year I bought two flats of strawberry plants for $2.00 because the season had passed and they looked a little sad and lonely. I planted them and occasionally weeded and checked on them. They produced fruit until November. Since they are a perennial they will come back every year. I have a huge crop right now that will supply me every spring. Planting tomatoes, peppers or cukes now is still an option with less investment funds. Your harvest time might be a bit behind others but still possible before frost.
Even if you're not into the grow-your-own variety of foods, it's still a great time to buy and eat healthy and thank whomever you thank for the fruits of the earth that nourish us here on this planet we call home.