This week sees the official first day of fall (Thursday)…sure wish the weather would recognize it! This week also marks our largest single harvest of tomatoes to date:
That’s eight tomatoes. Not eight tomatoes out of hundred, not eight tomatoes leftover from roasting or saucing or canning…just…eight. As far as we can tell, it looks like we got a Roma of some sort, a couple of purply-red Gypsy tomatoes (though they could be Paul Robeson tomatoes as well), at least one regular-sized Marmande, a few smaller-sized Marmandes, and a single Yellow Gooseberry.
It’s true that we’ve been getting the stray tomato hear and there for about a month now. One of our plants starting producing some really yummy dark-red cherry tomatoes. We got maybe a dozen or so of them total over a span of several weeks. Another plant looked like it was going to start producing Yellow Gooseberry cherry tomatoes in droves, but then it just…didn’t. Right now, we’ve got several plants with green tomatoes on them, some of which are just barely starting to ripen. And the start of fall is just around the corner. Will they make it? At this point, we can only watch and wait.
Around this time last year (and the year before) we were swimming in tomatoes. We couldn’t eat them fast enough! And at the end of the gardening season, we had over six quarts of canned tomatoes just waiting to be made into soup and stew over the winter. (And they were all delicious!)
This year, as we stare at these eight tomatoes, we can’t help but feel a little down. Not that there was much we could do about how things went at the start of the season, especially weather-wise. This year hasn’t turned out to another year of tomatoes. Instead, we’ve gotten lots other things: beans, zucchini, other squash, hot peppers, a few orange bell peppers, cucumbers, basil, lots of greens, and even some okra. (Picked in time this year and frozen!) Not every year can be the year of the tomato.
Unfortunately, the other slightly sad thing about that picture with the tomatoes is the ground cherries, because that’s it. That’s all the ground cherries we got this year. The squirrels were absolutely relentless this year. No matter how well we thought we had the ground cherry plants covered, they still managed to find their ways in. Now the plants are pretty much done for the season. Ah well.
Better luck next year, right?