Decided to wander out to the vegetable garden this afternoon. Last time I was out there, about a week ago, there were two — count ’em — two ripe tomatoes ready to pick off the thick, sprawling vines. The rest were all green. It hasn’t been the greatest summer for tomatoes; most of May and June were overcast and cool, so nothing much happened, garden-wise. By mid-July it was finally growing nicely, but many of the veggies we’d planted had died off. No eggplants, no red, yellow or orange bell peppers. Sigh. August got nice and hot. More growth, but no fruit. Same for most of September.
So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered RIPE TOMATOES everywhere. There were these gigantic heirloom toms and a whole slew of small romas (my favorites). I picked two basketsful and heh, here they are, ready to eat or make into spaghetti sauce immediately. I’m going to call my sweet next door neighbor and offer her as many as she’d like. Tommorow I’ll get busy making savory sauce to freeze.
And there are scads more tomatoes out there, nearly ready to pick. I figure by Tuesday I’ll have this many to work with again. It’s supposed to be chilly and rain buckets on Tuesday and Wednesday (yay!!). We sure need that rain. It’s time.
I also spent most of the afternoon out raking leaves and carting dry straw to the chicken pen and down beneath the red oak tree. The chickens like the straw for bedding and bugs; the stuff under the tree I spread out hoping to discourage foxtail weeds next spring. Now my wrists and hands are yelling at me, but my daughter Cary and almost-son-in-law, Matt, and I will be going out again in a little bit to cover the firewood piles with tarps so the wood stays dry when the rain comes. Matt, the love, has already brought a good load of sweet, dry firewood inside so we can stoke up the woodstove when it gets chilly and damp in a couple of days.
Then I’m making chicken soup. I love autumn.
Update: I changed my mind. I didn’t make chicken soup. I made fresh spaghetti sauce with four big chopped up tomatoes, a big handful of chopped pimiento olives, basil, oregano, garlic, a bit of salt and a couple of generous grinds of pepper. Spooned it over whole wheat spaghetti noodles cooked al dente and dusted shredded romano cheese over the top. Oh, my. yummmm.