25 Sep Beginnings and Endings
I’m sad. Come Monday my tomato plants will be gone. The season is over. Frost is on the way and after one final weekend of harvest, I have to uproot these beauties, clear away any fallen fruit and put the patch to bed for the winter. I know. They’re just tomato plants. But still, I’m sad.
I’ll miss my daily trips to the tomato patch. I had expected to love the tomatoes, but found I enjoyed the actual process of growing my own food as much as the delicious results. I got a kick out of trying to guess when a certain tomato would be ready to pick and never knew what I’d find when I got there. Despite daily inspections, sometimes I’d find a huge red tomato hiding under the leaves. How’d I miss that? And how did the sun reached it?
And on Monday it all ends.
I know. Thousands, if not millions, of people grow tomatoes. Probably bigger and better ones than I do. Somehow, they find the inner strength NOT to run to the computer and write about their nightshade experiences. Maybe next year, when it’s all old hat, I won’t feel the need to drag you through every step of my horticultural experiences. Maybe. Maybe not. I plan on planting heirloom tomatoes and then? I’m sure I’ll go camera-crazy for their lumps and bumps.
With so many tomatoes at my fingertips, I had high hopes to can my bounty. But after speaking with friends and family, I decided to forego the preserving kettle and sterilizing jars. Instead, I put my new peach-stuffed upright freezer to use. Both my cousin Donna and neighbour Elizabeth (who brought me those amazing black raspberries) insist that all I need to do is roast and freeze.
So I roasted tomatoes, peeled off the skin, added a pinch of salt and popped them into the freezer in conveniently pre-measured freezer bags.
As an experiment, I put fresh basil, garlic and some red wine vinegar in one batch. Was this the right move? I’ll let you know come winter.
How do you preserve your tomatoes? Any tricks I should know before I put away the last batch?
And be honest — am I the only one who gets attached to her plants? Or do all first-time growers feel sentimental about their crops?