Low temperatures at the end of this week will hit the twenties, and we may even see a few flakes of the white stuff. Tonight’s low (last I checked) is projected at 33 degrees. It was time.
I went out and picked–all the good-sized sweet and hot peppers, the few pods of okra still hanging on, the little cukes and eggplant. It was a little strange to be out in three layers picking cucumbers, but there were still a couple nice-sized ones for the crock. I doubt there will be anything but blackened leaves tomorrow.
After that, I went looking for the last few tomatoes. I pulled a couple more Polish Linguisas and a couple other random green or turning fruits from still-hanging-on vines. And then I walked by the Red Pear vines–again.
I don’t know why I haven’t picked them more often–there are lots lying on the ground, and there are some that are cracked, but there are also a lot that are perfectly good–red, green, and in-between. I walk by them often (unless I’m picking cherry tomatoes for mixed boxes), but today I stopped, and I started picking.
At first, I only picked the ripe or close-to-ripe ones. But then the cold wind got under my jacket, and I started thinking about all the long months I wouldn’t have a single garden tomato in my house. I started thinking about how few–really!–how few tomatoes I had left–even with the green ones I’d already picked.
And I looked at those vines laden with fruit, and I started picking everything in sight–everything that wasn’t split or crushed by the many times I’d walked by some of the longer tumbled-down vines. Everything that wasn’t tiny or already dropped off the vine.
Honestly, as I write this, I am thinking about going out and picking even more–even though I picked everything that was full-sized. There’s green tomatoes I could pickle out there! And what about green tomato relish? Or chutney?
Ahh, yes. The end of the season.