Thursday, October 9, 2008

Frost at the farmette

Tomatoes in the laundry room window - please excuse the over-abundance of yellow - we have not decorated this room yet!

We had our first frost last night! The timing was pretty much perfect. Yesterday evening when I got home, I had a few extra minutes so I grabbed a bucket and headed out to the garden. Something had triggered my urge to pick tomatoes. I started out just picking the red ones, but then I decided that it was time to bring in the whole crop. I picked all the green tomatoes that were of a decent size. I just read somewhere that as long as you pick them with the stems still on, they'll ripen nicely in a window. Keeping the stems on keeps the tops from rotting. Anyway, now we have two windows lined with tomatoes and every last one of them was saved from the damaging frost. Phew!

Most of the super green ones are in the kitchen widow.

After lining up the tomatoes, I opened the packages I got in the mail. I actually had 3 waiting for me! One was a new deraileur for my bike, one was a couple of books from Amazon and the last one was the garlic I had ordered over the summer. The place I order from doesn't ship until it's the right time to plant for your zone. I opened the box, inspected the garlic and read the instructions. "Plant after the first light frost". What perfect timing! We will be planting garlic this weekend. I'm really excited about this - I love garlic and I've never planted it before.

Lastly, instead of parking my fat butt infront of the boobtube last night, I figured it was time to do something with the sugar plums our neighbor had dropped off. The dehydrator booklet says that foods with tough skins (like plums and grapes) should be blanched (boiled) for 1-2 minutes to crack the skin prior to putting them in the dehydrator. I tried that the last time and while it worked great for the grapes/raisins, the plums made a mess and turned out all mushy and gross. That could have been because they were too ripe, but I really didn't want to break out the boiling water if I didn't have to. I figured I'd try one other method. So I picked out all the plums that weren't too ripe (there were some that were over-done) and washed them.

Then I cut them in half, removed the pits, and placed them skin side down on the dehydrator trays. I did 6 or 7 trays worth and let them dry overnight. This is how they look so far:

They have a few more hours until they reach 'done' status, but it looks like they are working out just right! Now - do I even like prunes? I have no idea!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Catherine: Lou built a little greenhouse out of pvc piping and plastic. I can email you a photo if you'd like. All of our plants weathered the frost here last night and we're hoping to get a couple of extra months out of our garden.

Great job with all of the dehydrating. I keep meaning to buy a dehydrator. And yes, you will like prunes, they're sweet and candy-like. I bought some prune plums at the market last month and the first batch was delicious and the 2nd awful. Your photo looks much more like our first batch, so you're lucky!

You're an inspiration to me! Have you learned to spin yet? I used to spin a lot. I would be happy to lend you some spinning books. Just pm me if you'd like them.