Ah, June! After a busy May readying the garden beds for planting (removing last seasons spent plants, adding compost and organic fertilizer, and turning the additions in), then designing the planting plan and finally planting, June is going to feel like a breeze.
In June, I check the garden plants at least once per week to assess if they are thriving, check for pests/disease, and adjust the irrigation as the weather warms up. If the plants are big enough it’s time to get the tomato and pepper cages on, trellising for the green beans, and oat straw down under for the strawberries, cucumbers, squashes, and melons. If you find some aphids on your kale, chard or other greens, just squirt the leaves with a hard spray of water and also squish them by rubbing between your fingers.
What’s in season for June? Here in northern CA, I’m harvesting lettuce, baby squash, garlic, onions, leeks, artichokes, berries, plums, apricots, and cherries. If you’re not a gardener but want to buy peak season produce, check your state Cooperative Extension agency website for a list and consult the Dirty Dozen list to know what to buy organic.
Recipe of the Month: Cornmeal Berry Cake
1 1/2 c butter, room temp. (more for pan)
1 1/2 c sugar, plus 2 Tbsp
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c buttermilk
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
3/4 c fine yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 c berries
Optional: whipping cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a few inches to hang over long sides for easier cake removal. Butter parchment in bottom of pan. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; Set aside.
In mixing bowl, beat butter and 1 1/2 cps sugar on medium high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk and beating until just combined. Spread batter in prepared pan.
Scatter berries over top of batter, then sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp of sugar. Bake until golden brown and tester in center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Loosen cake from edges, cut, and enjoy with whipped cream and additional berries.