Farm Happenings at Gravel Road Farm
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Gravel Road Farm News-Mid Summer-July 23, 2021

Posted on July 23rd, 2021 by Ross Ferkett

Eggplants are ready this week. Often the eggplant is a mysterious item in the box that a lot of customers are not sure how to cook. We enjoy many recipes with eggplant. We like to make stir fry over rice, just chopping up all the current harvests and frying them up hot with some soy sauce, honey, garlic, and chili. Sometimes we do the Italian version, with eggplant, zucchini, onions, green beans, and fennel, with garlic and herbs. We serve that over pasta. We make eggplant rollatini, and eggplant parmesan, eggplant burgers, and baba ganouj (roasted eggplant dip.) Our eggplants are very good, tender and mild, because we grow them in our high tunnel and pick them fresh. 

Lately we are working on identifying all of the bumblebees on the farm. We have so many on the cut flower patch, and our prairie planting. We are on the lookout for the federally endangered rusty-patch bumblebee, because we have such a diverse habitat, you never know what might show up!  Also seen on the farm flying overhead are purple martins. We have a purple martin house up at the farmhouse, but it has not been occupied this year. We are going to try to move it to a new location near all of the vegetable and flower plantings to see if they like it better. We want to attract insect eating birds to keep pest populations in check. 

The farm market and the vegetable boxes are humming along at week 7.  We are looking forward to packing the boxes each week with customized lists for each family. It feels good knowing they are getting exactly what they want. We have 6 more weeks for the flower CSA, and there are usually 2-3 extra bouquets each week in case you want to add one on to your vegetable box. 

We are experiencing some dry weather, and have been irrigating some of the crops each day. It will keep everything growing until we get some rain. We are in much better shape than many other areas in the country, and we are grateful. Farming is not easy, but we take time to enjoy this life when we can. The mosquitos, heat, humidity, sunburn, sore backs, cuts and bruises are all part of the package in exchange for the joyful freedom of doing what we love. 

Thank you to everyone for supporting our farm this year. -Ross and Brigid.