Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Winding Down (not quite)

We didn't have our regular Tuesday work day last night, because we just don't have enough daylight left at 6:30 anymore.  Plus, the fall is so busy with back to school, it's hard for anyone to find the time.  However, Keff and I did hit the garden yesterday around lunch time.  It was such a gorgeous day, I couldn't stand to be at my basement desk for one more minute.

This late in the season, we don't worry much about watering anymore.  Instead, we spent time weeding and pulling down the old cucumber vines and fallen leaves that are starting to collect.  The series of 40-degree nights we had a couple weeks ago put a definite end to most of the cucumber and watermelon action.  The tomatoes are actually doing better than I would have thought.  I did find a cucumber buried in the leaves, and it was still lovely.  Here's neighbor and 200 Foot Garden supporter, Pearl, with the cucumber.

Though we planted a lot more tomatoes this season, it seems like we never got to see many red ones on the vines.  I've gotten reports (from Pearl and others) that people have come to the garden to pick green tomatoes by the bag full.  I'm not entirely pleased about this.  Though the garden is meant for everyone, it's also meant for everyone to share.  And I really, really want to see red tomatoes on the vines.  I'd hoped that planting more tomatoes would make it so no one person would take too many.  (That said, the late season weather was also kind of weird for tomatoes.)  Maybe the solution is to plant more cherry tomatoes.  We tried putting up signs encouraging people to not pick the fruit until it was ripe, but I don't think it helped. 

The good news is that there are still some tomatoes on the vines, and some might ripen.  But I noticed about a week or two ago, that all the big fruit had been stripped from the vines in just one or two days.

The tomatillos are producing, but having a hard time due to damage from Hurricane Irene.  Still, I picked a couple pounds yesterday and plan to make some green salsa this weekend.

(Tomatillos.  The actual fruit is inside the paper shells.)

Being out at lunch gave us lots of chance to talk to passersby, who had many questions about tomatillos, peppers ("Did that big plant come from just one seed?").  For me, half the fun of this garden is getting to talk with people about the garden and how vegetables grow.

For now, we've got the garden cleaned up a little bit, so it looks nicer.  And we've still got a month left of veggies to harvest.  The greens--chard, collards, dinosaur kale, and mustard--are all still going strong.  There are peppers yet to come, along with a few tomatoes and tomatillos.