It is The End.
The official end of the tomato and pepper season in the Back Forty here in White Bear Lake. The drought and cooling nights (and days) have done their work. All plants are uprooted and gleaned. The bounty, a half reuseable grocery sack of green and partially ripe tomatoes and peppers, destined for chutney, something my sister and I love.
Cabbages and eggplants are left, and the cabbages didn’t fare too well this year due to the summer heat. The eggplants are the small round variety, and I don’t think too many will mature. There are two orange pumpkins sitting on the back deck, two green ones still thinking about things on the vine next to the garage. The leaves on the bean plants are yellowing, soon I will be harvesting my lovely, fat runner bean pods and shelling the beautiful navy blue, pink, and black spotted beans.
I could have done better, but I am amazed I did as much this year. Compared to last season, I couldn’t hardly move at all, much less dig, bend, plant, harvest, turn over compost bins, place heavy stone blocks, or hump bags of topsoil around. I am satisfied with the seasons work and now face the cleanup and prep for next year. “There’s always next year” is the farmer’s answer to many things.
I look forward to it.
Now, as I add to this post hours later, I have chopped five quarts of green tomatoes, three huge onions, celery, six pounds of apples, peppers, and everything else I throw into green tomato chutney. It’s simmering happily on the stove, sending good spicy smells through the house. The hard part is next…the cleanup. Oh, how I hate it. But I can get dinner going for the family and clean up at the same time, I think. I’m just not going to be able to can all this stuff tonight is all. I’ll have to refrigerate it until tomorrow.