Monday, October 13, 2008

And so the vigil begins

Alas, the tomato plants are no more. We had hoped for a teensy bit more ripening of the last of the tomatoes before we had to pull them up, and so they were covered with the rest of our plants in the Winter garden bed. An Unexpected FOUR DAY STRETCH of over night frost and low temperatures in the mid-twenties proved too much for them to bear.
Saturday was their last day in the garden among the other plants. We took the withered plants to the compost heap, and salvaged the 20 or so green tomatoes left on the vine. I had planned to pull up the plants and hang them upside down in the greenhouse so the final fruit would continue to ripen on the vine, but I waited too long. Now we will have to enjoy them in the Southern dish, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES! Okay, maybe not fried. And not battered with anything unhealthy. And I Absolutely Refuse to use Condensed Milk! (Unless maybe it is Santini Organic condensed milk.) Perhaps oven "fried" with a healthy bread crumb and heavy cream concoction. This requires thought, and more recipe research...
I OFTEN find it difficult to find choices that do NOT contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). I refuse to purchase a product containing this substance these days, so sometimes we simply forgo a particular food item until a suitable alternative with only healthy ingredients and zero (preferably) preservatives can be found. That rant is for another post, however.

Back to the frost. The potatoes were covered, but the cover was not close enough to the ground, so the airflow wilted several of these plants. We will keep a close watch on these to see if we have lost the potato crop this season. It is small anyway; only about 7 plants. Crossing our fingers, since this is our first attempt at potatoes.

Here is the happy ending:
The carrots, onions, cauliflower, and broccoli fared well through the frost, and after removal of about 12 cabbage worms that seemed to appear out of nowhere, these are all happy plants today. Tonight's low temperature should be in the mid 30's, so all is well.

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