Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tucking In the Tomatoes, or, Never Can Say Goodbye

In an effort to keep our tomato plants going, I've been tenderly covering them with blue plastic tarps whenever the temperature falls below 40┬║ F (which has been nearly every night for the last month.)

Why take all this trouble when there are so many good green tomato chutney recipes out there? Call it dogged determination - or perhaps just desperation. Our tomatoes flowered and fruited so late this summer that I simply wasn't willing to give up on them. (We waited all year for them, after all. And I refuse to buy supermarket tomatoes.)

So far the special treatment seems to be working. Under this...


...we have this:


And under this:


...can be found these little jewels:


Thanks to the tarps, our 'maters have made it through 3 frosts (though the last one did cause a bit of freezer burn to the outermost branches - I should have used a double layer of plastic). And, perhaps because of the cold, these late tomatoes are the sweetest, least acidic I've ever tasted.

There's no frost in the immediate forecast, but it's bound to come again. What will I do when it does? Perhaps I'll give up - pick all the fruit that remains and start surfing for salsa recipes. Or I may keep fighting - with my blue plastic armor - as long as I possibly can.

Because it's awfully nice to have a bowl of these sitting around:


Tell me why
Is it so
Don't wanna let you go

I never can say goodbye
No no, baby
I never can say goodbye

Clifton Davis

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

24 comments:

  1. What a great idea! Here's hoping you have tomatoes for a good while.

    Hugs,
    Sharon

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  2. Your tomatoes are beautiful!!! I have been waiting for this post everyday, and I must say I do love the blue contrast with the red and green. Lovely, lovely, lovely!

    So much TLC, my hopes that they survive and take you into the winter as a reminder of warmer days.

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    1. Once the ground freezes, the game is up. But until then, I hope we can keep going! :)

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  3. I din't grow tomatoes this year but I might do it next summer. Meanwhile all I can show is a bowl of apples. :-) They are red too ... Have a nice day. Regula
    p.s. no frost so far ...

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    1. We have apples on the counter all around the bowl of tomatoes - like a little red fire in the kitchen. :)

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  4. yes, please, save them! tomatoes look so nice, and they taste so good when grown up at home. i know it.all the best! Nights here also getting colder day by day, and I am still waiting for marigolds to blossom and for garlic to give arrows. also I planted some beans...hmmm... lets see :))have a great day ahead!

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    1. My marigolds are still blossoming (they are covered also, for the sake of the basil that grows with them). Good luck with your garlic and beans! :)

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  5. Oh how delightful to still have your own tomatoes! Worth the work, I'd say.

    Hehhhh, why not keep at the plastic-blanketing, until the snow flies???????? Just for the heck-of-it? :-))))) If you do, keep us posted, on the progress!


    "Auntie"

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    Replies
    1. Well, I don't think they'll survive too many more frosts, even with multiple layers of covering. But I am tempted to go as long as I can. Oh to have a greenhouse! :)

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  6. Oh same here.... Don't buy those fake tomatoes they sell in the grocery store, in off seasons. Ugh... Waste of money. Just to add-some-color. "Auntie" sezzzzzzzzzzzzzz... :-)


    "Auntie"

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  7. Ryan picked his green, put them in a box and put a banana in with them to help them finish ripening!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I heard about that. :)

      Keep us posted as to the results! (My sister was wishing he had included a windowsill control group for scientific comparison.)

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  8. YUMMMMMMM!

    I brought my remaining tomato plants in for the very same reason. Mine did the same thing as yours; didn't start blooming until September. Go figure. One roma finally has turned, and two beefsteaks actually began growing once I brought them inside!!!

    My peppers did the same thing. I have about 20 of them now, so you talk about salsa... :) Quick, call the fire department! My mouth is ablaze!!!

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    1. You must have a really green thumb to grow them so well in pots - they just don't work for me unless I stick them in the ground.

      Sound like the peppers will keep you warm through the winter! :)

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    2. Just wait until you hear about my green thumb adventure this year... a Halloween story to keep you up quivering at night! Perhaps next week...

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    3. Ooh, can't wait. I shall surf with baited breath.... :)

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  9. Oh, they look delish. Our tomatoes would have done better had we planted them in a different spot. Actually, the whole garden was iffy this summer. The one thing that did so well were the collards.
    Hope your weekend is beautiful.

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    1. Between late planting and the drought, I'm happy we got as much fruit as we did. Just want it to be red! I know your weather was odd too, this summer. Ah well.

      :)

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  10. Oooo! I'll say! That bowl of shining cherries looks lovely. What wonderful rewards your efforts are receiving :-)

    So excited! I just put a bunch of the D.E. Stevenson and Angela Thirkell books onto my Amazon wishlist. Alas, none of my local libraries carried them. But my birthday and Christmas are coming up soon so we shall see what I get from hubby and my parents. hehe

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    1. Good luck on the books! I hope you enjoy them - I think you will. :)

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  11. I love the way you have tenderly tucked up your remaining tomatoes in blue tarpaulin! So glad that your efforts are paying off and the the fruit are continuing to ripen and redden!

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