Looking at this picture of our fresh tomatoes almost hurts at this time of year.
It is February, and outside the wind is whipping the trees mercilessly. The second thaw of the winter has reduced the snow pack, but it’s going to be a long time until these beauties are on my plate again.
I’m doing what I can to set the stage for their return.
Almost with mouth watering, I’m planning this year’s tomato selections. The seed catalogues are arrayed around me on the desk as I create my short list.
Deciding for or against a variety is based on several observations over the season. Then, the task every autumn is to review how each tomato variety performed overall. This is crucial, because right now, there needs to be a balance between the dreams espoused by those glossy seed catalogues and reality.
Back to my plate, today.
There is a little good news stored in the freezer. While the tomato production this autumn was outpacing market sales and our own consumption, I took the time to put up some of the goodness for a time such as this.
Out the window is a sea of white. The chickadees and nuthatches take turns grabbing sunflower seeds from the feeder. Every once in a while the blue jays and woodpeckers flap in and push everyone aside. Then they leave, or are more often startled off by the dog, and the small birds return. Meanwhile, I sit here and watch it all unfold.
It’s my time of year for quiet and retrospection. A time to look over the past year’s experiences and notes, and to think about what went well. Also it’s the time to look at what could be improved upon this coming season. Which is a nice way of saying, “What just plain failed, stank or drove me nuts last summer?” But with a little more distance and perspective. Continue reading “Starting again”
I used our last homegrown carrots last weekend. They were purple carrots–a variety called Starburst–that I dug out of the garden in January. I put them into a curry that got slammed into the oven so I could get back to transplanting Swiss chard. Hours later, those carrots were still pretty tasty, as was the curry.
Seasonal eating has been on trend for a while now. It’s something we are encouraged to explore to benefit our health, and the health of the planet. Growing most of our own vegetables here means we’ve really embraced seasonal eating. Maybe we are embracing it just a little too much, according to certain family members.