end of the season
October 10, 2013, 6:19 pm
Filed under: gardening, goats, tomatoes | Tags:

end of the tomatoes!

Yep, it’s finally the end of the season. I’m watching the birds eating crabapples, and turkeys wandering across the yard. Everyone is packing it up for the season.

I picked the last of the tomatoes. Green ones for goaties! We’ve had a couple of nice pasta dinners with fresh tomatoes chopped up with basil and cheese. Yum! So I guess I’m ready to say goodbye.

IMG_4140 When your plants look as bad as this one–you’re ready for them to go. I took them all out, and put them on the burn pile. Of course the burn pile is now in a goat paddock, so anything remotely edible is gobbled right up. I didn’t think goats should eat tomato plants, but they seem to enjoy nibbling them. They’ve also had a heyday eating the squash vines (who likes those? no one I thought!)

At any rate, we’ve got our last fall lettuces and peas in, and enjoying the dahlias in full bloom!


ta da! peonies are out!

Yes, so in the end spring decided to arrive. Abalone Pearl is the first of the peonies to open. So pretty!

Abalone Pearl Peony

Abalone Pearl Peony

It’s been a busy time for us, but we did get the tomatoes in. This year, most will be in the front yard bed where the crazy pumpkins were last year.

Tomato bed, front yard

Tomato bed, front yard

New this year is a resting spot in the garden. I bought this chaise at the end of the season last year, and it’s a nice place to recover! Right next to the rosa rugosa, and the nice strawberry flowers.

Chaise in the "u"--espalier apples surround it.

Chaise in the “u”–espalier apples surround it.

Everyone is working really hard –the goats eating new shoots as fast as they can, and we’re also weeding like crazy trying to get ahead of the game.

Roppongi finding good stuff--outside the garden fence!

Roppongi finding good stuff–outside the garden fence!

Roppongi likes to stick close to the fence while we’re weeding–she really appreciates all the good stuff we throw over at her. 2 foot tall dandelions yum!

It’s a beautiful time of year here and we’re so happy to be back outside!

waiting for the frost! dahlia, pumpkin, potato harvest

They’ve been giving us freeze warnings for the last two days. But as of Tuesday the 8th October, we’re still good to go. We did go out and do a big harvest in preparation, which resulted in a really pretty assortment of dahlias!

bouquet of mixed dahlias!

our thanksgiving dinner dahlias!

pumpkins came into the kitchen!

dug up some more fingerlings and picked the last tomatoes

portrait of a groundhog considering his options
August 1, 2012, 4:14 pm
Filed under: farm, the yard, tomatoes | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Yep still loving the game cam. Check out this fantastic portrait of a tomato eater!

hmmm, this may take a while…but i’ll get there!

We’d just put up an emergency tomato protection fence, inside of the fenced lower garden area. As you recently saw, all kinds of wildlife frequent this entirely fenced area!!! ARGH. So, emergency fence went in around the tomatoes.

The night before this photo, I saw that there were new half eaten tomatoes inside this new fence–so alas, I guess he’s actually thinking–now which one was it that I liked best?

Great shot though. Look at his deft little hands. Sheesh.

why you need a game cam
July 19, 2012, 12:52 pm
Filed under: farm, gardening, tomatoes | Tags: , , ,

Sheesh, another year another chance for the wildlife to show us who’s boss. They’ve been out in full force, eating my tomatoes, and shearing my yarrow. I’ve been asking the doode to reinforce the fence with some buried chicken wire. Doode set out his trap and waited. A few coons were caught, but still the damage continued. But no, instead we plug up the holes the unknowns dig under the fence line with logs and bricks and sticks. The next day–logs are moved and tomatoes are shorter!!! ARGH!! Rather than do the hard labor, doode went for another tactic. Reconnaisance. Yep he bought a game cam. Hooked it up and pointed it at the trap and the hole in the fence. The next day we reviewed the pics:

1:24 am, nice smooth coat on this coon!

1:27 coon behind the trap

1:28 coon approaching trap

1:32 back on the other side of the fence?? coon #2??

1:52 –and a SKUNK?!

3:25 coon with ratty tail?

AYE?! Can’t believe what a superhighway this part of the yard is. Sheesh, it’s amazing we have anything left growing out there!

Next day doode turned the camera so we could see along the garden. This time we got both coons in the shot:

Somehow they seem like they’re mocking us. Check out this one:

one guy close up another one on the right

a nice mug shot!!

Sheesh. Just a reminder of how much goes on when the sun goes down!

tomato patch 2011
And so it begins…the counter is lined up with tomatoes. This year’s line up includes:
Ilini Star (I have no idea why I planted this one–sounded good in the catalog but it’s really just a market tomato–and why would we grow that??!) A nice round smallish tomato. It makes a lot, and they’re early. Taste is just ok.
Paul Robeson. Year two for this one. Last year it didn’t do so well! This year is much better. It’s making a lot of really big fruit. Taste is good. But I’ll wait til later in the season to judge for real.
Japanese Black Trifele. Our favorite. Neat pear shaped smaller tomatoes dark in colour. A nice one. Taste is fantastic! Love it on a big mixed plate of tomatoes!
Love Apple. Don’t know why I picked this one and I don’t know that we’ve tried one yet. Stay tuned.
Woodle Orange. Just had one today for lunch. It’s more yellowy than orange. Pretty good size fruit. Tasty! People say Dad’s Sunset is better, I’ll try that next year.
Marzano. Our sauce tomato. This year–unbelievable size on these!! (And all of our tomatoes are super huge). Needed a few more plants I think, as they’re ripening at different speeds–so it’s hard to make a whole sauce!
Cherokee Purple. They’re big too. Jury is out on the big taste test. I’ll wait til best pal comes down for our final taste test tomato extravaganza.
Black Krim. Another dark type. We grew a few years ago. A nice black, but no japanese black trifele. We’ll give it another shot to compete this year.
The tomatoes this year are really large! Tons of fruit! Late to ripen, but not much disease so far. Lots of chippy damage. It’s a shame to throw big two pounders over the fence.
Next year we will need to get some green moldovan. We really liked that one! And I’d like another yellow. I think the love apple is pink. Maybe it’ll be a keeper?

barn hidden by tomato plants in front yard

ilini star got some disease but she make a lot of tomatoes!

tomato dinner
August 16, 2011, 4:55 pm
Filed under: gardening, tomatoes

first tomato dinner 2011

Ah tomatoes 2011. Another interesting season. After last year’s crazy canning compensation (for 2009 tomato blight bust) we toned it down. And planted only about 15 plants. But another year another trouble. This year the plants look AMAZING. The fruits on them are AMAZING too. The biggest most unbelievably huge tomatoes we’ve ever grown.

So what’s the problem you ask?? Well, they’re late. We had our first tomato dinner well into August, which is unusual. And the crazy heat wave this year might have impacted the ripening of some of them. Green shoulders that kind of thing. But the biggest problem this year–animals. Sigh. Over half the crop–I reach down through the leaves to the ripe tomato, and UGH–it’s half eaten. Sigh. I throw it over the fence. Chickens love that. I do not!!