Since it's getting down into the 30's tonight, yesterday I brought in most of the tomatoes that were still on the vine. The plants are like the Energizer Rabbit - they just kept going! There were still blooms coming out on them too - and I didn't bring in most of the smaller ones. I guess if it stayed warm here year-round, I'd be in constant supply of tomatoes. As it is, I have boxes of green tomatoes:
I'll let most of them ripen around the kitchen like I've been doing this summer since I couldn't let them totally ripen on the vine due to bugs and other tomato destroyers. But I might give some fried green tomatoes a try. Though... it seems I tried them once years ago and didn't like 'em much. Now, the movie Fried Green Tomatoes is one of my favorites.
The day before, I brought in most of the remaining peppers and am in the process of drying them. They are like the tomatoes though - extremely prolific and still sending out flowers. Fortunately, drying them reduces their size to the point that they barely take up any room at all. And they look cool in jars. They are in plastic bags because I wanted to dry them per type and some are hot, some are mild and some are sweet.
The only plant I have left to get out of the garden is my big lemon grass plant. I've read that it's better to freeze than dehydrate, but since it's quite large, I'll try both methods.
I forgot to mention that we dug up the sweet potatoes about three weeks ago and all was not lost due to the deer eating the foliage - as I'd feared. But I do think it made a difference. The harvest was reduced by maybe 1/3 from last year. We still got quite a big haul though and I was thrilled after the challenges I had this summer. Though... a few of the potatoes turned out looking like space aliens...
It actually looks like it just didn't have room to grow so it wrapped itself around itself, but the ground wasn't hard at all and they had plenty of room depth and width-wise. I didn't have any like that last year. Of course, I didn't have moles tunneling all through the garden last year and deer eating the vines and all the bugs that moved in for the summer. This specimen above was also attacked by something underground, as you can see in the tell-tale holes.
But... tomorrow is another day and I've got my list of seeds ready to order for next year's garden. In fact, I think I'll order them today.
Yep, winter's on the way and though I love the change of the seasons, I dislike being cold. So, it's back to dressing in layers. And I'm going to make some fingerless gloves for myself and those legwarmers that I didn't get around to last year. And maybe a matching hat... I'll look like a clown! :) Ah well, the chickens won't care and I'll be warm.
There are still wildflowers blooming all over the place here...
Though it will be cold outside soon, I'll still have tomatoes all over my kitchen for at least a little while longer and that will be super nice. I'll miss seeing them sitting on my windowsills once they're all gone, but it will be nice to be doing non-garden things for a change of pace.