Second Freeze Warning of the Fall

Ripening tomatoes indoors, in cardboard trays

Traditionally, a blogger who has been MIA for close to a year would start by apologizing and explaining. Not me! I have not been blogging but I have been active on Instagram, and I hope you’re following me there.

So I’ll just jump right into it.

We had a freeze warning late last week but most of my garden wasn’t affected. I have a feeling tonight is going to be different. Super windy day here and the temperature is slowly going down. In addition, the overnight low is supposed to be 28°…and I feel like this may be it for the warm-seasons crops.

I harvested pounds (like 13 total) of tomatoes along with a few each of peppers and lima beans on Friday. Most of the peppers were chopped and frozen and we’ll eat the lima beans over the next week or so. I canned 6 pints of pickled green tomatoes, froze ripe tomatoes for roasting this winter, and hope to ripen a few indoors. 

In the past, I followed all kinds of crazy advice for ripening tomatoes – from pulling up and hanging an entire plant upside down to wrapping each individual tomato in newspaper and storing in a closed cardboard box. 

What I was thinking when I tried those methods?!?

You want to know what works for me? Putting tomatoes in shallow cardboard trays on the buffet in our dining room. The tomatoes aren’t touching and the trays get indirect light all day. Seems to work pretty well!

Ripening tomatoes indoors, in cardboard trays
Ripening tomatoes in cardboard trays

How to sum up this year in the garden? Coronavirus. Although it didn’t really start impacting us until March, it’s sort of hard to remember what the first couple of months were like pre-‘rona. Sure, it’s only November 1st and, while there’s a lot left to this year, putting the garden (mostly) to sleep seems like a good time to summarize some thoughts.

If I was retroactively picking a garden word of the year, I’d also add Grateful.

Why?

The garden and yard. The garden became my sanctuary even more than past years and I’m so grateful to have had the space and connection to nature throughout this year.

When I felt like it wasn’t safe to go anywhere, it was always safe to go outside to the garden. And, while it wasn’t the best garden I’ve ever had (so many chipmunks and squirrels along with really hot weather followed by cool weather and lots of rain just meant I didn’t harvest as much as usual), I’m forever grateful that I have the connection and passion to spend so many hours outside doing what I love.

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