Thursday, November 13, 2008
The Tomatoes of Autumn
In all the decades of Central Jersey vegetable gardens I have known, there have always been tomato plants and part of the tomato tradition was the neighborly contest to produce the first tomato of the season - preferably before July 4th.
But I can never remember a last tomato of the season competition. It seems as though, in years past, by mid-September gardeners were trying to save a final few green tomatoes before ripping out the plants, but now I find myself brushing aside the fallen leaves of autumn to uncover ripe tomatoes for salads and sandwiches.
We consider this a positive event - but odd.
On the other hand, I also don't remember cutting the lawn as one of the jobs to be done while preparing for Thanksgiving guests.
I'll know that this has become a common phenomena when seed catalogues offer such tomato names as "Late Girl" or "Autumn Red" or "Halloween Special."