Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Honest threes such a thing!

My youngest daughter had to do a poem for her writing class - creative farm girl that she is, and being harvest season when she wrote it ...

Not only did she write about TOMATOES but she also worked it to form the SHAPE of a tomato and she used an ORANGE pencil to do it in ...

Her teacher did not give her credit for the work ... Why?

Because when my daughter protested that it wasn't counted and the teacher looked for a tomato poem written in color she looked for RED pencil - and not finding it, figured my daughter had not turned one in.

My daughter came home so miffed! She could not believe that her teacher considered not counting the poem because she decided to use an orange tomato instead of a red one ...

She is keeping an eye on the grade now to make sure that she isn't penalized for using a different color than red.

I told her if need be she should direct her teacher to this website ... Where I'm sure her teacher will post the "real story" about the paper - since we all know that when people tell a story, they only tell it from the side they perceive.

I know there are those who think an orange tomato is an unripened red tomato ... And I had forgotten that had even planted them this year and even was expecting them to ripen for a couple of days.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Green Tomato Experiments


Okay - got out into the green house today before the thunderstorms hit (although according to one of our local tv stations weather app we had snow at one point - we didn't) and took some up dated photos.

We harvested Friday 7 Oct 2011 ... so these experiments are about 5 days old ...

Green Tomato Experiment #1
yes the tomatoes are ripening - well they are turning from green to orange

Green Tomato Experiment #2
I had several that needed pitching and one that was rotted so bad that I couldn't even use a trowel to lift it from the tray ... I washed off the tray and any tomatoes that had gotten the juice from the rotted tomato on them so hopefully they won't rot as well.

Green Tomato Experiment #3
while these do not seem to be ripening quite as quickly as those on the black tray, I think they may contain more of the orange-type tomatoes which will never ripen to red ...

Green Tomato Experiment #4
Look at all the beautiful coloring! not too many red ones in there, but then not to many bad ones either. 

most of the ripened ones I gathered today were the Roma type tomatoes, about a 1/2 pecks worth.

All in all about 1/2 a grocery bags worth of tomatoes had gone bad ... most because they had gone soft or cracked from the heat in the green house I think, but with these storms coming in will cool it down greatly.

Of course if I can't keep the dorrways open on the green house during the daytime it will still get up to almost 100*F just from the sunshine ... but if I can get that breeze coming thru the temp will stay around 55*F - 85*F depending on the outdoor temp and the amount of wind blowing thru.

well - I will have to check in on the tomatoes again tomorrow... but don't expect an update for a few more days.

After all, Rome wasn't built in a day ... and tomatoes don't even ripen that quickly

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Green Tomato Experiments

Well we harvested the garden as I wrote before ... We harvested very bit of veg that was down there (save some of the plants which still lived)

We did leave the bigger corn field standing for the critters to munch on over the winter if it is as hard as last years was ... Kind of ironic when you think about how much we DON'T want the deer and crow to eat the corn when it's growing ... Different post for that one - honest

What did wind up with was a wide array of ripeness to my tomatoes ... From deep green to deep red to black (this got pitched - they weren't supposed to be black)

So the issue became what the heck to do with all those tomatoes? I have a lot of windows in the house but not THAT many windows.

So time for an experiment ... Or four

First is ine my mother-in-law recommended ...
From Gargoyle Gardens
Pull the entire plant and hang upside down. The theory is that the energy from the plant will flow to the tomatoes and they will continue to ripen ... Not sure if I was supposed to pull it roots and all and put it in some sort of lanter, but we will give this a try.

Next was an old standby ... Window sill ripening with a twist
From Gargoyle Gardens
I put them on the black tray used for starting plants ... The theory being that the darker color will warm the tomatoes up and help them ripen quicker ... Or cook them where they sit.

A variant on this theme is also being put to the test
From Gargoyle Gardens
Here the tomatoes were placed on the clear lids for the seed starter trays - theory being that it will allow for more light to reach the tomato and lend to a more even coloring all around.

Finally - and the last one hubby would allow (he killed two others ... More at the bottom)
From Gargoyle Gardens
We put several trays into the portable greenhouse inside of the permanent greenhouse ... I know it's redundant ... The theory here is that the excessive amount of heat will help to ripen the very green ones before they spoil as well as protect the fruit/veg frm the chipmunks which seem to have taken to popping in for the shelter at night.

Just so long as the deer don't make theirselves at home - I won't fret too mch ... Well unless they get into my late-autumn experiments of .. Well later on that too.

It has been a f4 days since I set things up and my youngest daughter has already brought in a load of ripened ones ... Bt she didn't pay attention to which trays or experiments she took them from. It is supposed to rain later today, so I will probably take a gander out there so I can have some more tomatoes for canning.

So more photos to come!

Stay tuned

Harvesting Time

Well the crows have said the end of the growing season is here - they are ravaging the dried corn field and daily cover the ground and the powerlines near our home.
From the powerlines they see us head towards the fields where they squawk their warnings - not just to their own but to the racoons & deer which have come to join them on their feast.

The deer are really getting on my short list though ... we had one wonderful pumpkin grow - it was going to be HUGE, maybe 10 lbs ... actually I can exaggerate all I want since the deer have taken their toll on it
the kids aren't too pleased with it right now either
they were looking forward to not only decorating it for halloween but putting it up afterwards to make the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

actually it would never have made it for pie - it was soft on one side for some reason, like the skin hadnt hardened off yet.

but I have decided to leave a few plants up yet instead of pulling it all out -

some of the summer squash plants were still alive and kicking even through the cold spells we were experiencing ... so I thought I'd give them a little more time to grow - after all it wasn't going to hurt the garden any really.

my daughter found a hitchhiker on one of the harvest sacks ... but we don't quite know what it means:
I know they say you can tell the winter by the thickness of the band on the back of the teddy-bear catapillar ... but what the heck does it mean when it doesn't have a stripe????