Sunday, September 15, 2013

The news from When Pigs Fly Farm 3.0

The second annual WPFF Potato Harvest Festival -- all 45 minutes of it or so -- was yesterday. It was notable for one minor, niggling detail -- no. one. planted. potatoes. this. year. At least, not mindfully.
The "no-one-planted-potatoes" potatoes.
I noticed the first potato starts, obviously remnants from last summer's bounty, in June, poking their way up through my early carrots and cress. I didn't give it much thought -- just pulled them and went on my merry way. And then more appeared. And more.

Finally, the cress and carrots (and I) cried, "Surrender!" and we let the spuds have their way.

They are rather insistent plants.

I'm not complaining though (although my date and I have pledged to a no-carb/low-carb diet this fall). They are delicious little suckers. Last night, I took some of the tiniest, tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted them. Fresh baby potatoes are miniature Flavor Bombs combining the best of two worlds -- crusty (skin) and creamy (innards) --  punctuated with bursts of warm, buttery goodness.

Maybe that no-carb/low-carb thing will have to wait a week or two.


As to be expected, the Farm is winding down. There are bare patches in the gardens where my fellow farmers have started to pull up spent crops. Although still bravely producing, my bean plants look tired -- as opposed to their neighbor, the lemon cucumber. After a painfully slow start this spring, the little devil has decided to invade the entire garden, snaking its way among the beans. . . summer squash. . . and until yesterday, the potatoes. There are lemon cukes e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.

This slow slide toward seasonal hell fall and winter can leave me just a titch melancholy. I've been fighting off the Black Dog by trying new ways (and old) to preserve the fresh taste of summer. 

Pepper jelly has been this year's revelation -- a little dab on grilled meat or seafood is guaranteed to take you to your gustatory Happy Place.

I've channeled my mom and grandmother's Danish cucumber salad with the help of a fabulous website -- My Danish Kitchen -- discovered yesterday. Scrolling through Gitte's recipes is like re-visiting pretty much every Sunday dinner of my childhood. At least those at Nana and Papa Bailey's house.

I was a well-fed child.

Tomatoes, zucchini AND
homegrown garlic from
Struebotts Acres.
And I am still madly roasting and freezing tomatoes. I know it may come to a surprise to you, but not all of my heirloom tomatoes are magazine-perfect little orbs of yellow, green and red. Some come off of plant looking downright gnarly, split and cracked, oozing with juice. Yes, I know. Sounds appetizing, doesn't it?

Well, it is. Those are the guys I roast. And in February, when there's a bunch of crap snow on the ground and it's 50 below outside, it doesn't matter how the fruit looked when you get socked in the mouth with a bite of slow-roasted tomato in your soup or spaghetti sauce.

And, finally, next on the WPFF to-do list: Green tomatoes. They are legion and must be dealt with. Stay tuned. I vow THIS will be the year of the Green Tomato Solution.

One last word: Strawberries. 

Fresh strawberries in September

I'm pretty much sure When Pigs Fly Farm is Bermtopia's only garden growing strawberries right now -- on a parking strip! They are like a drug. Pop two or three at a time, and you almost forget it's mid-September.



  1. Yes! The tomato bounty has been good here in the NW. I've never grown potatoes, but it sounds like you've had quite the harvest. YUM!!

    1. I wish my tomatoes were doing as well as my non-planted potatoes, but I can't complain. It will be hard to go back to the store-bought variety when we run out of our frozen stash.

  2. You just made me hungry for those potatoes, thanks a lot.

    You want to see some ugly fruit and vege? Come to Uruguay. If a supermarket in Sydney tried to sell the stuff they sell here, they'd go bankrupt really fast. But the flavour! Mio dios! I've never enjoyed apples and tomatoes so much.

    Give my love to Mr Ben. I hope your autumn is kind to you. Thank you for reading my rambles! x

    1. Euphenia! It's funny how ugly food works. The best steak I've ever eaten was in Costa Rica, where pretty much every bovine looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie.

  3. That tomato sauce in mid-February sounds mighty good! I'm still harvesting my non-hierloom, perfectly round tomatoes...Beef Tomato Soup this week!