This is the End, Beautiful Friend

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.

Long Thin Cayenne

Long Thin Cayenne

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.

Red Pear Tomatoes-end of season 2009At 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.


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