Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall Bounty

A crisp, fall morning. The morning mist and fog have departed, and the day promises to reach the heat of the previous day (87!!). But for now, the harvest continues. Tomorrow, with the promise of barely 60 and the first rains of the fall, the canning will commence. To plant, harvest and preserve from your own garden is something that just defies true definition. You know exactly where that tomato or those pickles came from, to the plant and possibly even where on the plant. You know how it was preserved - frozen, roasted and frozen, canned, and by whom - yourself. And in midwinter, with the snow falling and the fireplace crackling, spooning up a bowl of chili made from those summer tomatoes, onions, hot peppers and your own grass fed and finished beef is just plain gratifying. We are localvores here on the ranch, in the truest sense of the word.

One whopper of a grafted 'Brandywine', one of many just now starting to ripen, two months after 'Costoluto Genovese'. Ya gotta love heirlooms, even more so when they're grafted

A very small part of the grafted 'Brandywine' plant

Tomatoes on the left, 'Pearl' cukes on the right. One basket will become tomato sauce, the other bread and butter pickles by tomorrow afternoon

And this 10.5 pound load of tomatoes brings the 2011 tomato harvest, from two grafted plants, up to 52 pounds! Amazing, especially considering the late, late start to the summer season and the shortness of the same

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