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Summer Solstice

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice!

Sun comic

You would think that since it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the Earth is closest to the Sun right now, but it’s the opposite – the Earth is actually farthest from the Sun during this time of the year.  The longest day and shortest night brings us full blown into summer heat, although we’ve already experienced the heat and humidity!  My herbs, tomatoes and peppers are rejoicing.  And the roses this year….

Carpet roses

Carpet roses

Rose 'Music Box'

Rose ‘Music Box’

The Celts and Slavs celebrated the first day of summer with dancing, so cut loose and do the Happy Dance!

We’re beginning to enjoy some harvests from our vegetable gardens and taking advantage of Farmers Markets all over the state.  How DO they get those veggies so soon?  Well, some have greenhouses, others use what’s called High Hoops [University of MN].  They’re not very practical for most home gardeners but I’m sure thankful for the delightful veggies they produce!

Harvest

Grilled summer lettuces recipe from Organic Life magazine:

A little char gives greens a complex, steak-like flavor.  For the liveliest salad, choose head lettuces in a variety of colors and textures.

  • 5 mixed heads of lettuce (such as romaine, escarole, radicchio, kale and butter) halved or quartered with cores intact
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. minced shallot
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect grilling or place a grate over a campfire.  Brush lettuces on all sides with oil as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Grill, turning frequently, until wilted and lightly charred on all sides, 2 to 10 minutes, depending on lettuce and heat.  Transer to a serving plate.

In a small, lidded jar, add the ingredients for the dressing, shake well and drizzle over lettuces.

 

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