Monday, September 17, 2007

Garden Neglect

I've been avoiding my garden. Ever since we got back from vacation I barely even walk in there. I just kind of cast sideways glances at it as I walk by, afraid to see the waste amidst the weeds. It was a little weedy when I left but when I got back....well, it was a jungle. A jungle littered with overripe, half eaten tomatoes. And some really huge grasshoppers.

Oh the tomato many, many tomatoes wasted. I started picking some last evening just before dark, but there were just too many. Cherry tomatoes and Sungolds as far as the eye could see. Honestly, I'm kind of sick of tomatoes. We were supposed to get a frost last night, and even though I am horrified at the thought of frost in the middle of September, I was almost hopeful that I would wake up to brown, limp tomato plants. See, out of my hands. An act of God. I didn't have time to save them. That isn't what happened. There were all still there, shining happily in the sunshine this morning as I let the chickens out. Undoubtedly ripening more tomatoes.

The most guilt inducing are the San Marzanos. For most of August I was processing a flat every few days. My freezer is full of sauce made with just San Marzanos and basil. Absolutely the best paste tomato I've ever grown. And I'll grow it every year from now on. Just prolific as heck and super vigorous plants. And it is still producing and I feel horribly guilty for each and every fruit that drops off into the mulch below. The tomato Gods will punish me next year with a terrible tomato crop I'm sure.


Blogger kris said...

Those tomatoes are gorgeous. I'm feeling kind of the same - my freezer is full, and I'm tired of doing a batch every day or two. But I'm sure we'll enjoy them this winter, so trying to smile as I do the next batch. ;)

5:15 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

Oh it hurts me so... we are perilously close to a frost here in Maine, and I've harvested exactly 7 main crop tomatoes, and only 3-4 pints of Sungolds.

I had fantasies of gorgeous tomatoes heaped upon the counter awaiting the pressure canner, but alas, I'll be lucky if I get enough to make one batch of sauce.

How long would it take me to drive down there and take some off your hands?

7:34 PM  
Blogger woof nanny said...

Yours is hands down one of my favorite blogs. So I just honored you
see my post here

11:48 PM  
Blogger El said...

You are such a slacker!!

Actually, you should see the sorry state of my perennial beds. Sigh.

Hey, would you like to do a seed trade? I'll send you some seeds from my Orange Bananas for some of your San Marzanos. Email me.

(Oh, and the way I stop the tomato madness? I pull up the plants.)

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I picked what I think will be the last of the peppers today, and quite a few tomatoes. From experience, I want to get my tomato vines out before the frost makes them slimy. So, I will be watching the weather closely.

Get in what tomatoes you can Meredith, and throw the rest to the chickens, they won't be wasted.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

It's funny... I tried San Marzanos for the first time this year, and I have SO many that are still green. My plans for lovely San Marzano sauce haven't materialized yet. And considering we've already had a couple of hard frosts, I'm not sure it will happen. Oh well.... at least I've got my 15 jars of salsa. ;)

9:13 PM  
Blogger Petunia's Gardener said...

Hey, I have the cake cover that goes with your canister set! A recent find at the favorite charity shop. It holds zucchini muffins right now as I'm trying to stay a little ahead of the guilt for at least one crop! 4 tomato plants & their cages fell over in the recent rain. I did consider just putting them out of their misery and calling it season closed, but it hasn't been such a season, I prop'ed them up so I could keep harvesting at least the sungolds. It is lemon cucumbers I didn't do well with. First they are too small, then they are too far along before I know it. Just figure you're feeding something or at least making mulch!

10:35 PM  
Blogger Kitt said...

The season can't be over. It just can't!

But I'm with you on the neglect. I have to avert my eyes every time I walk through the back yard.

9:22 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I apologize to those readers in Maine. I didn't intend for my whining about my tomato glut to make anybody feel bad. You guys have such a short season, every tomato is precious and my waste is probably disturbing. Ali, it would be a realllllyyyy long drive for tomatoes. El, I'd like to trade seeds. I'll email you. Sandy, I think even the chickens are tired of tomatoes. Petunia's Gardener, I have the cake thing too. I should use it more. I also have the cookie jar and the spice rack. I love the version with the pink plastic rims too. But they are harder to find. Thanks for the kind words Woof Nanny. And Kitt, about 75% of my perennial beds look like crap too. So picture me walking through my yard staring at the sky in order to avert my eyes from all the unkempt mess.

12:19 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

ah yes, tomato hits hard about the first week in January, when all the store "hot house" tomatoes taste like cardboard.
PS There is a variety call Daniela that has a nice long shelf life (we kept them through dec.)

4:38 PM  

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