Thursday, October 11, 2007

October Tomatoes

Back in April, one of my 4-H parents gave me three tomato plants. There were two basket tomatoes and one of a variety called "First Lady". I planted the First Lady in early May atop a nice shovelful of composted chicken bedding, but one night when it got cold I forgot to cover it and it got nipped by frost. It grew back from its blackened branches and , as the summer progressed, came to occupy a space in the garden about nine feet across. As other tomatoes succumbed to the usual late season blights and fungi, this plant was making new growth at the end of each branch, and putting out impressive amounts of fruit.

This is the basket of tomatoes I picked from that one plant after a rain storm on October 1st. The shoulders of this variety always retained those green streaks, but the flavor was excellent. I picked an eight quart basket full every few days in September. Now the days are shorter, but still no frost, and I am still picking a dozen tomatoes every three or four days.

Anna and I went swimming in Lake Michigan on October 8th. It was pushing 90 degrees and it was a pleasure, not a challenge, to mark October off on the calendar as a swimming month. Maybe this year we'll try for November.

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