Tomatoes are slowing down. The days are getting shorter, nights are getting cooler, and I am not picking tomatoes at a rate of 22lbs every other day. The one good thing about having a hot summer is the tomatoes just love it. I have heard very little this year about tomato blight. When I talk tomatoes at the coffee shop, everyone has had a good year and very few problems. That is of course if they watered once a week or so.
The beefsteak tomatoes proved to be a winner this year. They are huge and you do have to cut a lot out when canning, but there is so much there that it more than makes up for it. I still preferred the Celebrity tomatoes for canning. They are so easy to remove skins and quarter. The Yellow Beefsteaks had such a strong stalk that I had a hard time getting them off the vine. Then, when I finally was able to pry them loose, the tomato was half mutilated.
It’s a good indication that the tomato season is over when you would rather stick a needle in your eye than look at another tomato. I am just about there. Another good indication that tomatoes are just about done is when spiders are taking over your tomato plants. I think I have 4 big boys in my garden right now. I dont’ mind them being there, I just don’t want them in my face when I am trying to pick.
Actually, one of the coolest things I have ever witnessed was one time on the farm when I was younger, I threw a grasshopper into a web of one of these garden spiders. This particular spider must have been hungry because she didn’t miss a beat and in an instant had that grasshopper wrapped up in a web and I think it ate some of it and saved the rest for dinner. I kept going back to check on that spider and eventually she cut it from the web but the grasshopper bundle stayed there for a few days. So cool. I would highly recommend trying it at home, but I believe the spider has to be pretty hungry for it to act.
Back to the tomatoes, it’s a rare year that I don’t have enough tomatoes to can, but I have had a year or two when all my tomatoes had to be used for canning and not much for sandwiches and salsa. Then you have a year like this and everyone has a sore or two in their mouth and there is time set aside everyday for some sort of tomato prep. I’m thankful for it all, and come February, will be very pleased that all those tomatoes were canned, froze, pureed and the list could go on.
The Farm Wife