Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tomato Blight has Struck Again

The farm from which I get my CSA share has been struck with a late blight.  This is a little different from previous years, in which the blight was early and there were almost no tomatoes at all.  This year we have gotten a lot of tomatoes already but this week, with the blight present, the staff picked every tomato they could.  This week's share was 8 pounds of tomatoes plus a quart of "Defiant" tomatoes (so named because they are blight-resistant).

It seems that every year the farm is vulnerable to something, whether it is blight, or a hurricane, or an early frost, or searing heat in the summer.  I find it fascinating to watch how the plants respond and also to see how the staff balance what they plant every year in anticipation of what might happen.  It's good that the farm has such a variety of crops.  But it is interesting to think about the food chain and how it all fits together.

Bishop's Crown Peppers. Aren't they cute?
I came home with 4 pounds of tomatoes plus a pint of Defiants, onions, hot peppers, cabbage, broccoli, mixed greens, carrots, pattypan squashes, garlic, beets, parsley, blackberries, dill flowers, and a large bouquet of cut flowers.  Recently my husband had noted that salsa was one of the few things we ate out of a jar that was store-bought.  I decided I'd better change that!  I used the same salsa recipe as the last time I made it 2 years ago but used the immersion blender to make it smoother.  Partly because I'm still working through a collection of oddly shaped peppers from my mason's garden.  He brought me banana peppers, long skinny green peppers that looked like they should be hot but weren't, and Bishop's Crown peppers.  Those last ones are the weirdest peppers I think I've ever seen!  So, ultimately, this batch consists of: 5 pounds of tomatoes, 3 onions, lots of little peppers, 1 habanero, 1 jalape├▒o and 2 other chili peppers, and 2 cloves of garlic.  It made 6 pints.

Tomorrow I plan to make dilled carrots and then sometime soon I'll make grape jelly with grapes from my friend's yard - she brought me 4.5 pounds today and they're in the freezer.

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