Thursday, August 20, 2009

They Are Finally Here!

Red tomatoes!!!! I seriously thought it wasn't going to happen this year. With all the damp, cool, rainy weather I had all but given up on my tomatoes. Indeed this will go down as the coolest, wettest, and shortest summer on record in New England - resulting in later than normal and smaller than average harvests. But then a few days ago on August 17 I noticed a lovely deep shade of crimson poking out through the lush tomato foliage. Yes--it was my first large, ripe tomato of the season! A nice juicy Big Beef!



I've been harvesting very small amounts of cherry and grape tomatoes since July 30th - very, very small amounts, but we've had no large varieties ripen until this week (a full month later than usual). Sad thing is that the vines have had green tomatoes on the vine since June but they all seemed too stubborn to ripen.






Week after week they would just hang there hard and green - at one point I felt they were mocking me. Maybe they were in protest of the bad weather - kinda like I've felt all summer. Then it seemed a miracle happened - summer finally arrived on August 10th in New England. Yup..... for those of you not living in the NE you read that right..... it wasn't until August 10th that we actually got some real summer weather. The kind of weather that makes you want to go to the beach or lazily sit under a shade tree and do nothing but nap and sip ice cold lemonade. And it wasn't until summer actually arrived that the tomatoes started to ripen.






I was so in awe of my first red beauty that I must have taken 20 different pictures from all angles (I'll spare all of you those pictures in this posting.) I then placed it on a cake pedestal in my kitchen and just stared at it for a good hour it seemed - well at least until Andy had to ask me what I was doing. "Are you just gonna stare at it or slice it and eat it?" He said in a somewhat annoyed voice. "Cause if you are not going to cut it and eat it - I will!" "I'm dying for a garden tomato!" "Oh no you don't!" I said as I guarded the tomato with my life. "You come near that thing with a knife and there will be hell to pay!" I said sternly. Ok... at that point I realized that maybe the cool weather had killed off a few of my brain cells. I sighed and got out the slicing knife. But, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So there sits the tomato a full 3 days later and still not eaten. Maybe tonight I'll finally bring myself to do it. But it has to be done right.... it has to be dressed properly with a bit of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and sprig of basil. Something I've waited this long has to be savored. I know I have to get moving on it .... I'd be crushed if the darn thing started to rot before I got a chance to eat it.


In the meantime.... the other warm weather veggies are ripening fast as well. The yellow peppers are taking on a gorgeous lemon color.




And, another of my favorites - deep purple eggplants.....




The butternut squash has started to grow.... and grow, and grow, and grow..... Definitely will be bumper crop this year for these. I've got only 3 plants and but probably over 30 squash fruits growing.




So as I relish in the delights of summer's late arrival I feel a little melancholy. For although summer is finally here, Labor Day is only 2 weeks away. The other day I heard the sounds of football (American Football) on TV. Andy was watching the New England Patriots play in a pre-season game. I almost threw my shoe at the TV. I have nothing against football really, but I'm not ready for Fall yet no matter how beautiful the foliage is in New England - after all summer is just getting started.

21 comments:

Simply Dandy said...

Wow you have got some beautiful produce, I love love love tomatoes and someday I am going to try and grow some.

I also wanted to just check on you to make sure you were doing okay since your aunt's passing.

I have to admit, I am one of those who is definitely ready for Fall. I love fall, the colors, the smell in the air. Yes I'm ready.

Have a blessed day.

LeAnn:)

Mildred said...

What a strange "summer" you have had. All your plants look so pretty and healthy now. That's cute about savoring that one big red tomato. I don't blame you!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Well, it looks like it was worth waiting for! Those fresh tomatoes are just the best. You are lucky to have such a great looking eggplant! I tried them last year from seed, but as soon as the flowers appeared it was time for the first frost :)

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

LeAnne, thanks so much for asking how I'm doing. I'm better but still very much miss my God Mother. It will take a while, but time heals.

Mildred, we have a yucky summer. I don't remember weather this odd in so long. Of course now that summer is waning the plants are taking off... so ironic.

Catherine, I've never had luck in growing Eggplant from seed... it takes way too long. But, I always do well with the seedlings I buy from the nursery. Nothing seems to bother them - no bugs or disease. I don't even know the variety - the tag just says "Classic Eggplant".

Carrie said...

We too have yet to see summer. It has floated pass us a few times but never seemed to like to look of Ireland this year! I feel somehow we have made Mother Nature angry. In fact it is raining and thundering at the moment as I write. Everything that could get blight did, most things are blotting like crazy and the site is flooded. Beans and peas are great though, eat. them. every. day!

Beautiful tomato, possibly the reddest one I've had the pleasure to gaze upon this year. But seriously EAT IT!!! X

Tootsie said...

we have had an unusual summer here in Alberta Canada as well!!! Your veggies look yummy and juicy!!!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Yum--they look great! Enjoy them all!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

What beautiful veggie photos, they could be in a seed catalog!

tina said...

Yeah for the red tomatoes and for summer finally arriving!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Here was I, relaxing and enjoying Hawaiian sun, forgot everything about the garden (well, almost) and here I am now, after looking at your wonderful tomatoes, thinking - what is MY tomatoes doing now, forgotten and left alone... I guess it's time to go home... Congratulations Jackie with your harvest! Life is much better with tomatoes!

The Garden Ms. S said...

Gorgeous veggies - summer comes through at last!

Enjoy that tomato :)

sweet bay said...

Those tomatoes are beautiful! I'm glad they've finally ripened for you!

Outside In said...

It is not a good year for veggies, but finally the tomatoes are ripening. Your veggies looks great!


-Cathy

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

A real beautiful produce... I love the tomatoes. They really shine.
~bangchik

theurbanfieldguide said...

Summer love is always a little heartbreaking!

Heather said...

That is one pretty tomato! Mine are huge and ripening at lightening speed but no where near as lovely as that one! I never have trouble slicing into mine as they never look that picture perfect. Hope it tasted as good as it looked~

Darla said...

Very attractive veggies here. Our tomatoes did not do well at all.

Maya said...

Wow. Your vegis are gorgeous! I feel the same..., so not ready for fall, don't want to hear about it. Summer here as you say, has really only just started a few weeks ago. I hope you'll be posting some images from your visit to Chatham. I've been to the Cape but haven't been there. Have a great vacation!

June said...

What a beauty! And I know how long the wait as been. Our tomatoes are struggling still, but the heat helped.

I'm with you: I will throw a shoe at anything that hints at fall. I've got to have my summer first!

lynn'sgarden said...

Jackie, these photos are GORGEOUS! I hope that big red taste as good as it looks! I like the marbled look of that yellow pepper, too!

Beegirl said...

Congrats! Your tomato looks fantastic!! Have a bite for me!