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Empty Promises

September 24th, 2008

Here is NE Ohio frost will be arriving soon. Now I love winter, there’s just something about a hot bowl of oatmeal on a frosty morning. The only think I don’t like about winter is the lack of fresh tomatoes and other fresh green veggies. Especially now that Mr Chiots and I are trying to eat locally, I foresee a winter lacking in green things. Now don’t get me wrong, we will be eating veggies this winter, they’ll just be frozen ones from the garden or squash that stores well. We didn’t even come close to preserving enough food for us to last the winter, so I’m sure some California produce will be making it’s way onto our place (probably some steamed broccoli).

I think what I am most sad about is the lack of fresh homegrown tomatoes. I have only bought tomatoes a few times at the grocery and they are sad little things, not really fit for eating. So I’m trying to get the most out of my tomato harvest this year. I have canned a bunch of tomatoes and I plan on buying more at the farmer’s market this weekend for even more canned goodness.

I think I should be able to get a few more ripe tomatoes out of my plants. How? Well, I’ve read that if you pick all the large green or partially ripened fruit and trim all the growing tips off the plants you will get more mature tomatoes off your plants that you can harvest and ripen inside well into November. Since I have a ton of green tomatoes on my plants still, I’m going to give it a shot.

So yesterday I went out and picked all the largest ripening tomatoes. I also clipped off all of the growing tips of the plants. It was tough cutting off all of the new blossoms knowing that if given enough time these would have become delicious tomatoes. When I was done I had 6 pounds of greenish fruit and a bucketful of tomato cuttings.

It is sad cutting off all of the flowers knowing that if given enough time they would turn into delicious tomatoes. Oh well, anything to get a few more ripe tomatoes from my vines. Not all is lost though, the clippings made it into my compost pile to become plant food next year.

So what about you, what food will you miss most some winter?

For more info on pruning tomato vines visit Fine Gardening.

6 Comments to “Empty Promises”
  1. Jennifer on September 24, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Peas! I thought they’d come back like a lot of the cooler weather veggies – two harvests a year or whatever. Nope, spring/early summer only, and I didn’t buy any to save. So either no peas for us, or store bought from far away :(

    Reply to Jennifer's comment

  2. Carolyn on September 24, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I was a little sad when I was working in our garden today. Everything is slowing down and we are clearing out some beds.

    I will miss my mornings at the garden.

    Carolyn

    Reply to Carolyn's comment

  3. Jennifer on September 24, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    I really don’t know what to do for the next several months. Plant garlic next week or the week after, mulch it, then nothing until the catalogs arrive in Jan/Feb. :(

    Reply to Jennifer's comment

  4. Em on September 24, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Our Aus winter is so mild compared to yours, but even those few months without tomatoes remind me how much I love them. Of course you can still buy them in the shops, but they are bland and un-tomato. Fresh tomatoes would be most missed here, we eat a lot of them :)

    Reply to Em's comment

  5. AgrarianLife on September 29, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Well I usually try to get sick of ripe tomatoes by the time frost comes, but never had the chance this year. I should have been more prudent about frost warnings and picked my greenies, but the forecast was a mild frost and I figured enough would survive to ripen on the vine. But alas, we got two killer frosts in three days and even the greens got toasted. So I will continue to crave tomatoes until next year.

    I did get my fill of fresh lettuce and spinach for the year. I am still enjoying late chard and kale out of the garden, and possibly some cabbage and brussels sprouts coming soon.

    We have canned green beans and peas bulging out of the pantry this year, which I am grateful for, last year we were short on most things green.

    I am really hoping I can get my broccoli seeds ripened before the final freeze. They will make great sprouts for winter. I let about a dozen broccoli heads go to seed for this reason, but they may be a week or two late.

    And now that the red clover blooms in the pastures are killed by frost, they are ready for harvest. I am going to pick a whole pile of them and dry them and thresh out the seeds for sprouting as we need them over winter.

    Most of all I will miss flowers. I have never yet had the time to dedicate to flowers in the garden. Your flowers are so beautiful.

    Reply to AgrarianLife's comment

  6. Susy on September 29, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Agrarian Life: you’re so proactive about saving seeds, that’s one of my goals for next year. I want to buy some heirlooms varieties of the things I grow and start saving seeds year to year. I do save tomato seeds and flower seeds: zinnias, foxgloves, hollyhocks.

    I’ve never had sprouts, I should try it. I was able to freeze a few batches of turnip & beet greens for greens in winter soups. Hopefully this will satisfy our “green” cravings so I don’t have to buy stuff from far away.

    Reply to Susy's comment

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