June is upon us and with the rain over the last couple of weeks the vegetable plants have sprung into life after the dry season. The growth of plants after a spring shower or two is just phenomenal and you can almost see them bursting into life! As spring ends and summer begins, marked with the Summer Solstice on 21st June, a multitude of fruit and veg comes into season perfect for putting on our plates!
June is most famous for being the broad bean season when pods are bursting with beans and perfect for brightening up summer chicken dishes, risottos, salads, pasta and pesto with its fresh green taste. For recipes using broad beans see http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/search
Courgettes are also just creeping into season, although the weather has somewhat delayed ours, nether the less the flowers can also be used to create some wonderful dishes, ensure you pick only the male flowers (as the females are the ones that grow the courgette) and pick first thing in the morning when the flowers have just opened to ensure maximum flavour. Stuff with ricotta and herbs and deep fry or pan fry in pasta; these flowers are delicious and versatile!
Radishes are also ready for digging and are wonderful simply added to salads for a peppery kick or pickled for a wonderful side dish to duck. For more radish uses visit https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/radish
Wonderful British strawberries are now in season and are just divine, why not pop to Trevaskis Farm near Hayle and pick your own to put into tarts, have on top of yogurt or even turn into ice cream or jam. Why not even sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and black pepper?! They also have gooseberries and logan berries (a cross between a blackberry and raspberry) ready for picking, perfect for fools and jellies.
Spinach and salad leaves are also in season at this time of year and are a perfect quick growing “cut and come again” plant perfect for first time food growers, just watch out for those pesky slugs and snails who fancy them as food before you do! A perfect solution is copper tape around the bed or pot to deter slimy visitors.
And finally you can’t look walk through the countryside without seeing the wonderful elderflower in full bloom, smell its beautiful aroma and pick flower heads to make cordials, wine or champagne. For elderflower recipes visit https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/elderflowers
Not only are all these wonder fruit and veg available to harvest throughout June and into July it is also the perfect time to sow for the autumn and winter when the soil is moist and warm. Sow the last of beetroot for a lovely earthy autumn crop, and runner beans for a September batch. Chard, turnips and some carrots can be sown now to ensure a winter crop and brussel sprout and broccoli seedlings can also be planted out to ensure a winter food supply.