It’s been strawberry season and we've been trying to pick as much as we can when they are dry. We've had a bad season this year as was mentioned before, but none the less we forge ahead and try to make the best of the situation. Everybody was picking while I had the torch and was weeding. At one point I stopped to check and see how it was going, when I approached the strawberry beds I noticed some nice looking strawberries.
I asked if anyone had done the row I was standing in and got a reply I didn't really like. It was affirmative, I was informed that the row was done and on both sides. Now I know I am somewhat of a perfectionist and we've already had the problem of leaving fruit on the ground and sap beetles so I launched into how you need to be careful and you need to look at all the angles and that strawberries are very adept at hiding themselves. I look at correcting mistakes as an opportunity to learn and to teach if there is a point to make. I try to make them understand the importance yet let them know that no one is perfect.
Like the time we were growing Italian eggplants. We had about one hundred feet of eggplants that we were growing the summer of 2007. The weather was good most of the summer and we had little watering to do. As the eggplants grew we would harvest and sell them or make something from them, babaganoush, fried eggplant pancakes, grilled or whatever other way suited our fancy for the night. The summer progressed and the eggplants kept coming. I find string beans, strawberries and some other fruit hard to harvest or easy to miss, but knowing this is one thing, taking the time to uncover them all is another. Eggplants however are not that hard to harvest. Eventually the size will stick out enough to catch someones attention.
Which leads us to the volleyball sized eggplant that we eventually discovered. This thing was huge, it was at least a foot tall and had a beautiful purple cover. I actually took it on tour showing anyone that would look; it was prominently displayed on our vegetable cart on the weekends (image below). We had watermelon that was smaller than this thing. We just had to laugh at how huge it was, one of my first thoughts after cutting the beast from its plant was, "How did we miss this when it was half its size,' You would of thought someone would see it when it grew to the size of grapefruit, or when it got bigger and was the size of cantaloupe, or when it grew even more into the size of a small pumpkin. When it comes to harvesting you don't make money if you don't pick it and put it on the cart, we also learned you don't make money when you miss it and it grows bigger than your head and nobody in their right mind would buy it. That eggplant certainly was the conversation piece and had our customers asking if it was really organic. One of the few proud moments we had from this thing was admiting that it was indeed one hundred percent certified organic.
So your wondering, what happened to it? Did we open it and look inside, did we cook it and taste it or did we get it stuffed and mounted? Well truth is I put it on top of the compost pile and watched it fade away as winter took hold.