Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Several solutions have brought me great joy. The first, and best, solution is to give some away. I hesitated to do this initially as my vegetables were not perfect. The cucumbers were a little big (they delight in playing hiding and seek on the vine); the tomatoes had blemishes; what can one do with just one squash?! Rather than give vegetables that looked like left overs, I wanted to show off my gardening skills with beauties similar to those I select from the grocer's produce stand. But home grown heirloom veges don't look like their genetically-modified, pesticide-laden, greenhouse grown-counterparts. And they don't taste like them either, thankfully. So, I overcame the sins of pride and waste (there are people all over the world starving. How can I throw food away!). Guests to my home now leave with at least something from the garden, perfect or not.
A third solution is to put up in small quantities. I am mastering the art of canning 3 pints of tomatoes at a time. Waiting until there is a big batch did not work for me. I cut up the ripest and ugliest tomatoes, puree them in the blender (skin and all), stew them down, then water process them for winter enjoyment.
A fourth, and final solution, is to share with the girls, aka chickens. Goats have a reputation for eating anything, but it's the chickens that devour the over-ripened food. A side benefit is that now whenever I approach the chicken run, the new girls sprint to greet me -- feet flying and wings flapping -- instead of cowering in a huddle in fear.