Monday, October 8, 2012

The news from When Pigs Fly Farm 2.0

Word up?

At When Pigs Fly Farm, the word is frost. At least three nights, maybe four, last week. The beans, cukes and eggplant have surrendered and withered, limp and blackened in the teasing warmth of this afternoon's sun.

With the fr-word spewing from the mouth of every TV weatherperson, I activated the Tomato Early Alert System mid-week, aka an effective, but unsightly, Shroud of Visquine (no, you cannot see Jesus' face) and snipped the remaining squash blossoms. I think we'll be bringing stuffed squash blossoms, caprese salad and maybe some spicy pickled cucumbers to soup night tomorrow night.

Another word at WPFF is change. Farmer Jim and Mrs. Farmer Jim have decamped the 'hood and are experimenting with Downsizing in Bermtopia. Farmanatrix Kate (their daughter), her SO, Farmer Sam, and a tiny gray mouse who now resides in the compost bin have taken up daily administration of the farm. We are in good hands. And paws.

And that last word at WPFF -- bounty. It has been a blessed, bountiful summer, a few false starts with the  beans notwithstanding. We've benefitted from The Farm's bounty, guests have benefitted, friends and co-workers have benefitted, and at the height of the squash and bean season, some unsuspecting new neighbors and the food bank benefitted as well.

I'm roasting tomatoes, then freezing them, this weekend (with a few eggplants survivors thrown into tonight's batch) -- I wish I could say I thought of this absolutely brilliant non-canning solution to saving this quintessential last bite of summer. But I didn't -- it came by way of small talk at a meeting I attended earlier this week. But it's so freakin' simple -- toss together quartered tomatoes, splashed with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, then slow roast for a couple hours at 325 degrees, stirring about every 30 minutes or so. Cool and freeze. Badda-boom, badda-bing.

Yes, your 5 cups (or whatever) of brilliant end-of-summer tomatoes ultimately reduce down to a suspiciously weird-looking cup o' something. But what a cup. I guarantee, in February, after months of stale store-bought tomatoes, you will thaw, taste and be catapulted back to a warm August night when you had fresh tomatoes for dinner. ** cue the crickets. . . and a couple mosquitoes just for good measure **

I have one more harvest -- sun chokes out in the Back Forty. According to my owner's manual, before digging them up, we'll need yet a couple more frosts, which unfortunately, are imminent and unavoidable as hell on earth winter creeps into Bermtopia.

But this week, I'm roasting tomatoes, making a last caprese salad, and have spicy pickled cucumbers to share.

When Pigs Fly Farm, you done good.


  1. As usual, I'm quite jealous of your fresh self grown harvest. Veggies here are now so overpriced, I'm glad I'm not vegetarian. Tomatoes have gone from their usual under $4 a kilo to almost $9. I'm sticking with cans until they come down. F-ing ridiculous. The seeds I tossed into random pots in the courtyard are all sprouting. God knows what they are though. I can't tell a weed from a veggie when they're 2cm tall.

  2. I make that end-of-the-season roasted tomato stuff, too (I call it Tomato Glut Sauce). We hit 32 degrees on Sunday, but now the temps have gone up a bit so no harvest yet here at El Cheapo Ranchito Farm in Sandia Park, New Mexico. The garden hardly produced anything this summer and I'm seriously considering retirement for my little patch of veggies. Not quite sure what happened although I suspect that the Cottonwood tree roots have invaded the little fertility that there is on this rocky hillside. Keep warm!