. . . I’d have no tomatoes at all.
Weird year for tomatoes.
We had plenty of spring rain and mild weather so the tomatoes I planted in the garden got off to a good start.
Unfortunately, by the time the first few tomatoes started to ripen, drought set in and the new blossoms started to fall off.
I watered for a while, but as the drought stretched on and on I gave up and the plants sat fruitlessly.
Meanwhile, in several out-of-the-way, neglected nooks, volunteer tomatoes were sprouting:
At the foot of the muscadine.
Between the sweet potatoes and over the strawberry patch.
Under the apple espalier.
Up the plum tree.
WAY up the plum tree.
I let them go, figuring I might as well. They were all types; roma, black cherry, san marzano, cultivars of unknown lineage, throwbacks to hybrids’ parentage.
Thanks to a couple of welcome rains and some inadvertent water from nearby seedlings I was watering, they started to fruit.
They’re starting to ripen now. And due to the unseasonably warm weather this November, it looks like I might get tomatoes this year after all.
I’ve cancelled my Bad Tomato Year Gloom, Despair & Agony Pity Party and am trying to decide on how to put up this unexpected late-season crop.
I’ll probably have quite a few green tomatoes to rescue before the first frost, which I can wrap in newspapers and store in boxes, unwrapping as they ripen.
Or, I could make these classic, southern Green Tomato Pickles. They’re tangy-sweet, spicy with cloves and cinnamon, and very crispy.
Hopefully I’ll have enough to do both.