Just a few sunny days and the new planting of snap beans have sized up perfectly for the Friday harvest. They’re the crop of the week, a shade on the young side, maybe 2-3 days from being fully filled out, super-long and slender, with firm, thin pods (compared to the sturdier skins of the slower-growing first set), and only a hint of the actual bean inside. Cool! Because everything is fresh-picked on Fridays, regardless of when the “perfect” picking day may’ve been, it’s interesting to see what the luck of the draw brings to certain crops. These beans are an example. By being a little early, I lose a bit of yield, maybe 10-15%, but the beans are at that elusive, slightly young stage. Mesclun may reach that perfect first cut, when the leaves are still mild-tasting and almost melt-in-your-mouth, on, say, a Monday or Tuesday, and, especially if there’s sunny weather, grow past it by the Friday—still excellent, but a little firmer and stronger-tasting. Same for some of the fastest growing summer squash, like the zucchinis, which can practically double in size in 4-5 days. I’ve found the picking window for tasty veggies is usually quite forgiving for even the fastest growers, at least a week in summer and longer in the fall. As always, it’s mainly about the weather: how much heat, sun, and moisture they get. Since I’m not harvesting or sorting for uniformity—I don’t NEED carrots of a certain length and diameter and so forth—there are no worries on this front, and it’s fun to see and eat the variations of each crop and planting at each harvest all through the season….
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