Last week, our Slide Ranch team celebrated Summer Solstice with bountiful bouquets and words of the season read at sunset. As a gardener, it is most relevant to be aware of this lightest time of year and maximize growing potential on either side of it, as each annual crop demands a certain amount of exposure to the sun’s radiant glory! As the time of greatest light slowly wanes, however, both air temperature and ground temperature will tend to be warmer than during the time leading up to the Solstice (hence thinking of summer as the time from mid-June to mid-September); most plants benefit from this as well, so long as they’re receiving due water!
At Solstice, we also celebrated completion of the first week of camp! With campers, carrot seeds were sown, rhubarb crisp was made, and teas of mint, raspberry, and lemon soaked in the sun! Walking through the Slide Ranch garden, campers and visitors are always welcome to taste the myriad herbs and even flowers that live there: from oregano to calendula and rosemary to nasturtium. As a community, we also harvested lettuce, collards, kale, and artichokes—all of which love generous doses of summer water. As new carrot seeds went in, our first carrot crop emerged bright, orange, and sweet! We gobbled them up in no time, and additionally, we’ve just begun to enjoy a summer crop of zucchini, squash, radishes, and amaranth greens—did you know that the foliage of amaranth is edible? They are an excellent source of Niacin, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese and can be prepared just as you would kale, chard, and other leafy greens.
Stay tuned for more updates from the garden!