Tuesday, September 25, 2012


The first eggplants... Listada di Giada

This was a 42 pound harvest...
As I type this, I can hear rain on the roof. We woke to thunderstorms this morning. After getting basically no rain from June 11 through August, September has been extremely wet... I've measured over 16" of rain at the farm. The second week of September, the weeds looked liked they had the upper hand. I spent an entire weekend tackling the weeds, first with a weed-whacker, and then on my hands and knees. That weekend left me sore and allergy-rattled, but the garden looking like a proper garden again. Then I was able to concentrate on the harvesting.... which really, I'm not keeping up with. I've encouraged my friends to come on out and take what they want. And a few of them have come out and helped themselves to tomatoes and basil. I tend to send visitors to the house home with tomatoes, okra, peppers or squash... All of them have been doing very well. This past weekend, I noticed that many of the tomato and basil plants were a little overwhelmed by sprouting grasses. But then we got our first frost Monday morning, and I was glad they had that protective covering! Here was a time when not keeping up with the weeds may have worked out in my favor! On Sunday, I had harvested all of the remaining eggplants (both the Listada di Giada pictured above, and another variety called Slim Jim, whose fruit look like the traditional purple eggplants, only much skinnier!) and was glad to have done so because all the eggplants were covered in a glistening layer of frost yesterday morning. And now rain, thunderstorms, and wind. I don't think we'll be close to freezing again for a few weeks, which will enable me to get more harvested. And then to concentrate on trying to preserve all of this bounty. As it is, we're eating incredibly decadent salads at nearly every meal. Salads that consist almost solely of sliced tomatoes. Nothing else. Just a mixture of varieties, that eaten together are really the height of cuisine. My Mom & Dad visited over the weekend, and it was nice to be able to show them the garden... Especially with its abundant produce, lots of wildlife (birds, butterflies, and rabbits!) and bobbing rows of cosmos, zinnias, and marigolds. (The marigolds I'm especially proud of... they're HUGE this year... some standing at least three feet high!) My Dad helped pick tomatoes on Saturday. I set him loose in the Matt's Wild Cherry patch. He may not forgive me. He kept saying the plants need to be three feet higher so there isn't any bending required. But there is a ton of bending required when picking tomatoes, and a lot of reaching and awkward angles. He was sore the next day, and then decided that the $4/pound I was charging last year to be an obscenely low price. Especially when he only picked a pound of tomatoes, and it took him over a half an hour. But eating them, you know they're worth the effort.
Last week the farmers around the farm harvested their commodity corn. It had all turned black, with small ears of corn that didn't look entirely formed. Really,it looked sad, and I wasn't too sad to see it go. In its wake, our horizon is deeper, we can see the deer in the fields and beautiful return of murders of crows and flocks of blackbirds. In some ways, I am surprised it is already harvest time. I feel as if I just finished planting (I was still planting in July!) and am only now able to walk around the garden and marvel at the beauty of the okra flowers, or the ways cabbage flower (which means I missed harvesting some of them!) and already now I'm talking of frosts and rushing around picking up persimmons before the dogs eat them all. How quick it all flies...
In between my rows of okra, a combine harvests the commodity corn across the street.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you make it sound all flowery even when you are talking about vegetables!