I’m ready for the season to change. Spring and fall are my favorite garden times. I am completely over this summer. The weeds are actually over my head in some areas. Pulling them is entirely out of the question. They would dislodge everything in the vicinity. I’m cutting them to the ground and honestly I could use a saw on some of the larger stalks. It’s remarkable that my Felcos have not given me carpel tunnel syndrome.

When I first planted my baby eggplant seedlings they were attacked by the Colorado potato beetle. I figured it was because I had yet to plant potatoes.

At any rate, I sprayed them with a Bt product made specifically for the potato beetle. Bt stands for Bacillus thuringiensis. It is a biological insecticide for use on all sorts of caterpillars. It basically shuts down their digestive process and they starve. The brand name is often Dipel. I used the product made by Bonide company.

All this is to brag on my eggplant this year. I’ve never grown such beauties. Naturally, I’m the only family member who likes them. My family is psychologically allergic to weird textures. No matter — I roasted boatloads of them, ran them through the food processor, and added them to fresh tomato sauce. No one was the wiser — until they read this, of course.

I froze several containers of the puree to be used in baba ghanoush sometime this winter.

Sunday’s New York Times had a front page picture of opium poppies growing in Mexico. The article was about children being used to harvest the opium as the flowers were growing on steep hillsides too dangerous for adults to reach. Wow! It was an interesting piece, not only about the growing of the flower but the political implications for the people of that village. It is their only option to make a decent living and the drug cartels actually provide social services for the people. None of the harvesters or their families even use opiumnor do they understand its appeal. One interviewee said if it’s a problem for America why are people so stupid to use it.

Whew, I first began writing the garden column in 2007. I went all political almost immediately. Food is political in our country. For the most part, Americans are at the mercy of big agribusinesses. As we know, high fructose corn syrup has been an additive to almost all processed food since Earl Butz was the secretary of agriculture under both Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He overhauled the federal food system. He single-handedly paved the way for huge commercial farms and the abundance of corn in the American diet. Thanks to him we Americans pay a smaller percentage of our incomes on food than any other place in the world. I suppose some think that is great, but at what cost?

If you ever have a chance, get a copy of the documentary King Corn. They showed it at the Katharine Cornell Theatre a couple of winters ago.

Also in the New York Times this week was an open letter, full page, to President Obama from Joshua Tetrick of Hampton Creek. He implored the President to consider becoming a leader in the fight for good, clean and fair food. The Obamas are young people and post-presidency can be an important time. Just look at Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton. Both of them continued to be of service.