In order for us to keep our Pick Your Own crops growing all season long, we need to pick them evenly and often. This means that all of us have to walk down to the ends of the Swiss chard and kale beds (yes, all the way down to the end) and pick from the plants that have lots of leaves on them. If we don’t do this, the plants will stop producing new, beautiful leaves. If you see that part of the swiss chard or kale is covered, it means that particular section is not open for picking and that you should walk down to the section that is not covered.
The same practice applies to all of the Pick Your Own crops, including the herbs. When you’re harvesting herbs, please walk down the aisle instead of picking off the very end of the beds. You can see that the plants on the ends are very short and practically picked out. This is not good for them. In order to enjoy these herbs all season, we need to spread out our picking (note that in the middle of the beds, the plants are tall). This practice goes for all Pick Your Own crops.
A few people have asked about picking the curly kale. We have it and we know it is a favorite. We will open the curly kale in a few weeks, but for now, I would like to highlight the Portuguese kale that we grew this spring and that you should pick! This variety is called Beira, and it is a wonderful, sweet kale, even in summertime. It looks like collard greens, so you may have missed it. We will label it out in the field, and I encourage you all to try it. Notice, in the picture at left, that Beira kale has a thicker, white stem than collards and brighter white veins going through the leaves. The collards (see below) are a darker green and are flatter and rounder.
And speaking of collard greens, they are delicious and so good for us! For some reason, people tend not to pick them, although we grow them every year. You can mix collards with your kale and swiss chard when you cook, if you are hesitant to try them alone (just make sure you allow them to cook longer than the other greens). Once you discover how good they are, you could start making them as a separate dish. Expand your culinary palette and give them a try!
See you at the farm!