The Good, the bad, the ugly

Roasting and Freezing Eggplant
Roasting and Freezing Eggplant
The Broccoli box was full of eggplant before I roasted them. Notice how small the yield after roasting them – the yellow bowl – but it will still be tasty during the winter! I used to only freeze eggplant in the form of baba ganoush but this year I am simply freezing pureed eggplant. So many customers have given me so many good recipes with roasted eggplant that I thought it might be more fun to decide what to do with the eggplant in the middle of the winter!
The GOOD. I have been saving our unsold eggplant for freezing and I was hoping to roast and freeze it last weekend; however, we took last Sunday off and went for a wonderful picnic and hike in Chataloochee. It is absolutely gorgeous in that part of the Smoky Mountains and although it drizzled while we hiked, it was so GOOD for the soul and reinvigorated ourselves for yet another week of farming! Our plan is to spend every other Sunday doing something off the farm just to get away from the chores.
The GOOD and the BAD. We were unable to sell many of our wonderful green beans this past week at market so the GOOD is that we canned another run of beans for our winter satsh. In addition, the GOOD is that the corn, lettuce and beans simply love all the rain and are flourishing so we are thankful that we are a highly diversified farm. The BAD: Why won’t folks pay $4 per pound for our beans when this food crop is so difficult to harvest and we the farmer has yet to earn an hourly wage of $2.00? We the farmer works so hard, we love our job, we just want folks to VALUE (monetarily) their food so that we can earn a living off the farm. Folks pay construction workers $15 plus per hour for their homes, and it seems as though food should be more valuable because it provides nutrition which is the basic necessity for life, so it seems that our beans are worth at least $4 per pound. We also had problems moving our rainbow bell peppers that are another luxury food item – naturally sweet red, yellow and orange peppers full of vitamin C – and completely more nutritious than a snickers bar.
The UGLY. This past week presented us with another inch of rain during the day, which coupled with the sun creates an incredibly humid and wet environment, providing the perfect conditions for Downy Mildew, which completely wiped out our winter squash and our last succession of zucchini. I guess it is a good thing that these crops experienced a quick death rather than a long suffering illness. We are harvesting all of our winter squash which we know won’t be as sweet as the squash grown in our drought years. In addition, this past week we pulled down our onions from their curing racks and we have declared them a CROP FAILURE. They couldn’t take the 16 inches of rain in May and June just when they should have been forming bulbs. WE ARE THANKFUL FOR THE WINTER SQUASH HARVESTED!
We have never seen so many squash bugs and their larva. The squash bugs are busy breeding an army to wipe out all the cucurbit crops here on the farm. We have never sprayed for these bugs because they are normally not here in mass but we are seriously considering it if we have another day without rain.
PRODUCTION NOTE TO MYSELF: Perfect # of field eggplants for market and CSA in this wet season: 200 Nadia, 150 and Dancer and 100 Orient Express. Field Peppers need staking.

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