Friendly Neighborhood Tomato Wrangler

I put the garden to bed for the winter. I knew I would have a few tomatoes to pick, so I took a colander out with me when I took down the plastic. There were a few not-quite-ripe ones and a whole bunch of green ones–so many I had to go get a second colander. When they started rolling out of the second one I decided that was enough, took them in, and started pulling up the vines. Of course, the first vine I reached for had four beautiful, firm, green tomatoes.

Yes, I did go back in for a third colander. That was is only about a third full. And yes, the green ones are worth harvesting. They’ll ripen in a paper bag and then go into the crock pot for sauce.

The vines were tenacious. I had better trellises this year, which made them harder to pull. I finally had to get out my gardening shears and start cutting because detangling would have taken all day. It took me the best part of two hours, but the tomatoes are down and the new raised bed is finished until spring. If these plants are as stubborn as their parents, I’ll have baby tomatoes in both beds by May.

This is the first year I haven’t bought dirt to put in for planting. I filled it with compost from last year, tomato vines, and dirt from the containers I grew potatoes in this year. They’re growing in the old raised bed next year, so it was largely a matter of moving dirt. We did find a birds nest we hadn’t seen (but the cats apparently had), and we evicted a mouse from the potato pot.

Now I’ve had my shower, my hands are dirt-free and smoothed with cocoa butter, and I have coffee and food in easy reach. Time to get some words in. I’ll go down later, when I start to stiffen up, and sort out tomatoes.

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