Key Dates for Ontario Produce

Depending on the weather, here are some seasonal produce start dates to keep in mind:

  • Asparagus: Now
  • Rhubarb:  Now
  • Strawberries:  About June 15
  • Pick Your Own Strawberries: About June 21
  • Peas: Pick Your Own & Ready-Picked About June 21
  • Green beans: Late June
  • Sweet Corn: About July 21
  • Pick Your Own Pumpkins: Early October

Back on the land

reesors-jay

by Jay Reesor

When spring comes, it can come in a hurry! A little over a month ago all of us were wondering if spring would ever arrive.   We had endured a long winter and the cold stayed right into April.

But a few weeks can change everything. We are currently planting everything from strawberries to sweet corn, green and yellow beans, beets, peas, soy beans, oats and clover. The peas and the corn are even up already!

Every spring-planting season has its challenges and right now we are trying to manage all of our planting to maintain moisture. It hasn’t rained significantly for weeks so we have to be careful that every seed we plant finds enough moisture to germinate.We will figure it out.

I hope that you have a chance to do some planting this spring too!

Asparagus & Green Pea Salad with Mint

This favourite recipe comes from Jay’s sister Karla who lives in Calgary.  This unique recipe uses shaved, uncooked asparagus. Try it and let us know what you think.

• 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp minced onion or shallot
• 2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
• ½ cup olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 pound asparagus, washed
• 6 cups spring greens
• 8 slices prosciutto or your favourite smoked ham, cut into thin strips
• 2 tbsp chopped mint
• 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Preparation

If using fresh peas place the shelled peas and 1/4 cup water and some salt in a saucepan. Cover and cook over high heat 4 to 5 minutes or until peas are tender. Drain. Let cool.

If using frozen peas, place them in a sieve and pour some boiling water over them.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, onion or shallot and mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the woody end of the asparagus on cutting board, holding the tip and shave lengthwise along each stalk with a wide vegetable peeler. Place shavings and tops in ice water for 10 minutes. Drain well.  Discard the base.

Place the greens in a large salad bowl adding ham, shaved asparagus, peas and mint. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing.  Toss altogether.  Top with shaved Parmesan.

When To Expect Local Goodness

Reesors_Strawberries

These strawberry blossoms will be yielding fruit about June 8.

Here’s the harvest schedule for rhubarb, strawberries, peas and corn at both of our locations:

Rhubarb:  mid-May.

Strawberries:  Depending on the weather you can expect to see early strawberries from southwestern Ontario around June 10 and our own strawberries around June 18.

Peas: From southwestern Ontario around June 25 and our own peas about July 5.

Corn: Early corn from southwestern Ontario available around July 15 and our own early corn starting by July 25.