Virginia Beach, Virginia 2021-06-11 06:17:42 –
JANE BLOOD WORTHROWE
Virginia Beach — As the strawberry season nears its end, local food lovers are looking forward to sweet corn and homemade tomatoes arriving in the heat of Dog Day. I love summer vegetables, but late spring peas and leafy vegetables are just as fascinating.
Now I’m sampling what I’ve been waiting for — candy-sweet, fresh, tender young May peas from a local farmer’s market.
May peas are just one of the spring offerings, and next month local producers will also have lettuce, kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and perhaps sweet corn and squash in June, depending on the weather. ..
A mini heat wave earlier this month bolted the asparagus, but fortunately I was able to find some asparagus on a recent trip to Cromwells Produce.
Broccoli and cauliflower are about to enter the season. According to owner John Cromwell, this year’s Cromwell production will offer a rainbow mix of white, purple and yellow cauliflower. Cabbage, orange and red beets, turnips and radishes will also be available soon.
Flip-flop farmer Bruce Henry also expects to eat broccoli around the third week of May, and romaine lettuce will soon enter the season. In addition to this spring’s fares, Henry expects to start choosing young squash and zucchini soon. It’s a little early, but a gentle march recommended him to plant early.
“And that looks pretty good,” he said.
Robbie Vaughan of Vaughan Farms’ Produce predicts that some crops, including early summer sweet corn, will be harvested around the third week of June. He currently features spring products, including May peas, but doesn’t expect a long season of peas this year. Rainy weather in late February, when peas are usually planted in May, delays planting and germination.
“We all laughed and said we needed a pontoon boat to get into the field, and the cold and rainy weather was a problem for seed germination,” he said.
In addition to spring produce, Bay Breeze Farms’ Cindy and Steve Barnes, like other producers, offer special hospitality for their customers this year. Burns offers local baked goods such as pound cake, as well as locally made guacamole and peron baha grilled chips.
Seafood such as Eastern Shore crabs and oysters, seasonal fish, and North Carolina shrimp are also available, according to Steve Burns.
Henry also offers Bloody Mary mixes and sauces from Lendy’s Cafe, and Virginia Peanuts from Newsoms Peanuts. Meat, ice cream, jellies and cheese are also offered at some farmers markets, and food trucks owned by the Cuban Coffee Company may offer coffee and sandwiches produced by Vaughan Farms.
My favorite, locally made Sloan cheese dip previously sold at Creative Wedges is back in stock at Cromwells. I have already tasted a delicious container of smoked Gouda dip that I just purchased.
There are plenty of local dishes, just above the horizon, but as always, everything depends on the weather.
This year, producers say the weather was a mixed bag. Although it was rainy during the pea planting season in May, the mild March helped Henry get pumpkin seeds early on. The weather was unexpectedly a little dry, with a sudden mini heat wave in early May and then cool weather.
It’s good for some and not so good for others.
Cool and dry weather prolongs the strawberry season, but sweet corn likes it to be warm and moist, Vaughn said.
“These 49 degree nights haven’t helped the corn,” he said.
“It’s a little dry now,” Henry said in a May conversation before the rain-dried spells were lifted. “It’s a good idea to take a shower.”
The author is a contributor to Independent news..Her journalism Virginia pilot..
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