Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gardening: Final Tomato Harvest

Hurricane Irene passed by on Saturday, August 27, 2011. We are far enough inland and high enough in elevation that we had next to no damage, and the brief  3-hour power outage was a non-event, since we have a whole-house, standby generator to keep things running. The following week through the Labor Day weekend, however, was one of non-stop rain. The nearby creek flooded repeatedly. The opening of school was delayed by two days. Our Labor Day picnic was held under the gazebo in the downpour as we shivered and enjoyed good company and some of the best roast pork ever. My poor tomatoes, however, drowned.

It has been a pretty good tomato summer for us. The Lemon Boys came in first, then the red tomatoes came in. We had a tomato or two on hand at all times for several weeks- perfect for snacking and salads. When the sun finally came out the weekend after Labor Day, however, the plants were black, shriveled, and sagging.

It is hard to believe that our vegetable garden went from this...

May 2011

To this...

July 2011

To this...

September 2011
(How Sad!)

... in just a few months. Where did the summer go?


  1. The same thing happened to my poor fuchsia plants. I paid an arm and a leg for small plugs at the beginning of the season (the varieties I am growing are rare and not found in your regular garden store). It took forever for them to get big enough to make a bloom... (I didn't realize how slowly fuchsias grow!).

    They FINALLY started to bloom, and I got maybe five flowers out of the eight plants I had purchased before the rains came and they drowned and rotted. Apparently fuchsias are rather finicky about not sitting in sopping wet soil for extended periods of time. What a disappointment.

    The plants are mostly black and shriveled now, but I took some of the stems that still have some green on them and am trying to root them in the hopes that I can get some plants for next year and don't have to buy brand new ones in the spring (I'd have to spend another $60 to buy the plugs again and then play the waiting game all summer... I don't know if I have that kind of patience, or funding in my flower budget.) Hoping the remaining stems root, not rot!

    Of course, this doesn't really compare to your story, because while my flowers are beautiful to look at and disappointing when they don't produce, we don't rely on them for food. It adds a whole new layer of disappointment when you've worked so hard to grow food for your family, and then all your hard work goes to rot. If it makes you feel any better, my poor Dad's garden had the same problem. Between the drought and the rains, he lost a lot of plants.

    You know, with George's skills, I bet he could build you a bangin' greenhouse. I have a dream of having my own greenhouse... but it's not going to happen as long as we live at our current location... we simply don't have the space. But maybe George could repurpose some of that land that the pigs used to use to build you a nice greenhouse so you could grow plants year-round. Wouldn't that be nice! I'd be totally jealous, by the way.

    Okay, I'm totally hogging your comment space here! I'll talk to you soon. Did you get my email about the favor I asked for you to do on my site? I don't know if I have your correct address.

    Hugs, Jenn @Misadventures in Motherhood

  2. Oh, please, Jenn... Don't encourage him. He has proposed greenhouse designs from simple rolls of clear plastic supported by poles to a massive assembly of second hand doors and windows. Not to mention the proposed root cellar...

    Don't worry; if he builds one, I will no doubt write about it!!

  3. And why haven't you let him build this greenhouse, dear farmess? I would be eternally envious. Do you know how badly I want a greenhouse???

    Oh, and I just read your post about the potatoes. Sorry to hear about that disappointing yield too. And I had no clue one could grow potatoes in buckets! I have one of those exact same buckets--my impatiens look lovely in it.

  4. You don't know him very well, I guess... If he had decided to do it, there would be no stopping him! No, the only reason I do not have some sort of greenhouse, so far, is because other projects have been given priority.

    Barrels and buckets are great for potatoes! I've even seen people stack up old tires and plant them in the middle. Then in the fall, you just knock down the stack and pick out the potatoes!