Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bye Summer Hello Tomato

We’ve basically had beautiful weather here in East Tennessee since the heat began to wane about mid-August. All good things must come to an end however and last Thursday it ended with a bang. We had two cold fronts blow thru within 12 hours and that night the weatherman was on the border about whether or not to predict frost. Well frost slipped across the border during the night and we awoke Friday to a heavy covering of frosty white. Friday morning also initiated the start of the winter heating bill season as I slid the thermostat control from Off over to Heat.

We have a garden every summer and it generally does well. We plant about 25 tomato plants along with various kinds of peppers and some years (not this one) squash and green beans. This year I got our tomatoes in the ground about a month late, about mid-june. That ‘one month’ late has thrown the harvest two months late… funny how that works. When the frost hit last Thursday we had tons of ripe and almost ripe tomatoes on the vines. So Friday evening I went out to pick the remaining goods ones. I kept picking and picking until I lost most of the sunlight. At the end of the evening I had 16 gallons of tomatoes. Yes, that was Gallons with a ‘G’ and there were 16 of them.

So what does one do with 16 gallons of tomatoes? Well, we canned them until we ran out of canning jars. No more jars means we hit our storage limit and no more canning! So now we’re trying to give tomatoes away and attempting to eat everything tomato we can think of. (I guess our licopine levels will be high for a while.) As I write this a bunch of them just left via two nice friends from church. Now we’re down to six gallons.

They say if you eat too many carrots you’ll turn a light shade of orange… check with me next week as I may be a nice shade of red!


Anonymous Chrissie in Belgium said...

Amusing! Can a harvest be too good?!

10:33 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

I don't think a harvest can be too good, but it can certainly come at the wrong time! This would have been much better had it come in August rather than October.

This will teach me (hopefully) to plant at the right time!

5:03 AM  
Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

Keith, your post brought back very distinct memories of my mother canning tomatoes, but it was always in July/August, during the most beastly hot days of summer. We did not have a dishwasher back then so the jars had to be sterilized in big boiling pots - 4 pots on the stove, all sending off tons of hot steam. THe kitchen was like a sauna. I had to push the tomatoes through a sieve with this huge cone shaped piece of wood. Boy were we glad when that was over!
Now I'm going to be reminiscing all day about various things (with a big smile on my face).

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot grow anything. I kill my fake plants becuase I forget to "pretend" water them or something!

If you could ship tomatoes, I would take some! My daughter eats them like apples although they would probably show up as ketchup.

Stay warm!

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great problem to have. Daniel also eats tomatoes like apples, he looooves them. It has been raining here since last night and bigger storms are on the way and they are all supposed to be heading your way. Enjoy. lol

12:04 PM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Holy Tomato Batman!

16 Gallons?!!

1:42 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

I would love to ship some to you but you're right, they'd probably show up stamped Heinz.

We couldn't grow anything either when we lived in TX. TN is much more conducive to plant growth, both weather and soil wise than the arid southwest. If you ever move regions try your green thumb again as you might have better success, we sure have.

Please don't tell me bigger storms are on the way! Hold them right there in Nashville please. I stood out in the rain this afternoon volunteering at a golf tournament (fundraiser) and was not pleased at all. When I got back to the house I felt like a cold, shivering rat.

Get the vegetable juicer Robin, maybe we can finally catch that Joker! (OK, that made no sense at all, but it's the best I could do.)

6:06 PM  
Blogger Johnboy said...

Hey, Keith...good to see you out here in cyberworld.

3:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love tomatoes,and I wish someone at work had been behind with their harvest, I'd take some!

12:17 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Sorry for the lull in posts. Sometimes I just get to busy or maybe that's too disorganized to post.

Wish I worked at your work. Not only would you end up with a load of tomatoes but we could have some great conversations concerning D and exercise!

2:15 PM  

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