It’s not a contest by any means because I can find something to love about each of the 12 months of the year, but May & June have got to be right up there at the top of the list. The maple trees are leafing out, the temperatures become more moderate and all those tomato and pepper plants in my greenhouse are ready to go in the ground. My grandfather used to say, “plant nothing outside until June 10th”! That may be more prudent, but with our limited growing season here in Zone #5, you’ll be fighting the frost by the time you’re ready to harvest!
Speaking of things about Spring that are supremely popular, no discussion would be complete without mentioning LEEKS! I don’t know if they’re so well loved because they’re free for the taking out in the depths of Penns Woods or because people truly enjoy that strong, biting, oniony taste! In addition to their unique flavor, they actually boast a number of health benefits. Leeks are rich in flavonoids (antioxidants with inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties). They’re also a good source of vitamin K which may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. In addition, besides being high in fiber, they aid in blood clotting for wounds and supporting overall heart health!
Several years ago, a young man stopped in and offered us some freshly picked leeks. Not really knowing where we might use them, we decided to buy them anyway. Since then, we’ve used them in sausage, beef sticks, bolognas and even jerky. Our deli makes a delicious and very popular leek dip which has become hard to keep on the shelf. Now, we can’t imagine what our meat case would look like without some fresh meat products laced with the ever popular “ramps”.