Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The May Harvest Calendar
It's still peaceful.
Don't get me wrong, the greenmarket's been crowded for a week or so already. But the crops, the flavors are still quiet.
Quince blossoms smell like a garden after the rain.
And the harvest has finally begun now too. Fresh, fragrant baby lettuces. Earthily green asparagus, though there will be far more later into the season.
Right now most farmers are getting about a harvest a week, but, as the weather warms and spears grow up to 10 inches a day, an asparagus field might be harvested every 24 hours.
And there are emerald scallions, still young and mild enough to touch to the grill and toss in vinaigrette.
The ramps are suddenly at their height, piled in great velvety heaps that sell all day.
And a few stalks of rhubarb have appeared. Jade.
And blushing into rose too.
Plus some hints of heat and color and things to come.
The field radishes have started to pop up, though not in as much varied abundance as they will be in another week or two.
The world is awash in green.
Also coming into their own right now are beet and turnip greens, mesclun, parnips, spinach and summer squash. And as always from cold storage, we have last year's shell beans, onions, potatoes and apples. The potatoes are wilted but still roast up decently, though I haven't had a respectable apple in months now. And you know my feelings on those old onions. I stick to the scallions, the ramps and the chives in May.
Crop notes are available in the sidebar harvest calendar over there on the right all month. The information comes from a guide published by the CENYC, which runs the Greenmarket & New Farmer Development Project. To familiarize yourself with what's in season where you live, I advise a visit to your own farmer's markets at least every couple of weeks. And ask lots of questions – no one knows which crops are at their peak quite like the people who grow them. To locate markets near you in the US, check the Zip or City Quick Search at Local Harvest.
Happy spring and happy May!