All of these things happened this week! (the tomato was happening for some time, actually)
So by now you all know about the earthquake that shook the east coast earlier this week. I was at work when it happened, sitting at my desk, writing an email. Then a steady shaking - I thought someone was pushing a heavy hand-cart past my cubicle, because the cube walls shook a little, but not enough to make me immediately think: Earthquake! Except it didn't subside right away, as it would when the hand-cart moved past my cube. Then everyone was standing up and looking around. Is this an earthquake? someone asked. Should we go outside? We all gathered near the front entrance, looking bewildered. By then it had stopped. Someone came over the intercom and said they'd checked with the base police, that the entire base had experienced it, and that it was likely just a little tremor and nothing to be worried about. We all sat back down and furiously checked the news online. Earthquake. Crazy.

So my last post was a little bleak, so I thought I might clarify and backtrack a little. Our garden has not been a total fail. In preparation from Irene (more on that in a little bit), Theseus and I took in a lot of the veggies that were ready or almost ready, so if we lose the garden in the storm, at least the food parts will have been saved.

Without further ado, I present - the ugly tomato!
It is a siamese-tomato of the Jimmy Joe variety, joined at the, ahem, rump. And you can't really see them in the photo, but he also has some spectacular stretch marks on the top. He weighs exactly 1 pound. Pictured with him is the sole survivor of the Great Pumpkin Slaughter of 2011. He's actually a giant pumpkin, an Atlantic Giant, but as I wrote before, a squash vine borer got to his plant and killed it before we realized what was happening. The plant's last effort, as it lay dying of a nasty white worm in its vine, was to produce this little pumpkin and hope (as much as a plant can "hope") the seeds inside would mature enough to produce a new plant. Makes you a little sad, right? Me too.

Next, we have a photo courtesy of Theseus: our potatoes!
I know, in the last post I said I thought they might have blight - it's hard to tell. A good 90% of the plants died prematurely (a few are still hanging on), but we're not completely sure it was blight. So Theseus and I dug out all the potatoes from the dead plants and this is what we ended up with: probably about 10 pounds, maybe a little less. No so great when you consider that we only about doubled what we started with, and these potatoes are much smaller than they should have been. But still: potatoes.

Next up, my hand modeling some bell peppers:
I'd bought three varieties - a green, a yellow and a purple. The "yellow" ended up being a long green pepper (possibly poblano - not pictured here), but the purple came in the way they were supposed to and are delicious. I think they are just a teensy bit spicy, not as mild as the normal green bell peppers. When cooked they turn green, though. Very strange.

Here we have our farm box filled with some goodies from yesterday - non-heirloom tomatoes, purple carrotsbeets and one lone fingerling potato (can you spot it?)
The carrots are small - they were picked early, really just to thin out the carrot patch. The remaining carrots, now that they have more room, should be bigger. But aren't they beautiful? They are just stunning up close. They are a vibrant orange inside, so they are even better looking when sliced in half. The beets did pretty well, considering the weeds they were battling. There are still three beet plants left in the garden. And the tomatoes are just whatever.

A close up of one of the bigger carrots:
We also took a couple ears of corn out of the garden (forgot to eat it tonight = starchy corn tomorrow), two acorn squash, a freakishly orange (!) crookneck, two cucumbers and a handful of sad little onions. If there's a break in the storm tomorrow, I'll take them all outside and take a photo.

So that brings me to Irene. It's nearly 10 p.m. now and we're watching tv and listening to the rain pound on the roof. Earlier this week I bought a little battery-powered camping lantern, but I think we'll be fine. The storm is already downgraded to a Category 1 by now, so I just expect a soggy lawn on Monday. Hope the corn makes it; Theseus tied up all the heirloom tomatoes, so they should be fine. Everything else is low to the ground.

And now we wait. We spent all morning making pasta sauce (5 1/2 jars) - tomorrow, if we're not still too tired, we'll make salsa with the remaining tomatoes (including Ugly!) and maybe vanilla bean ice cream. And then I never want to see another tomato as long as I live.

Satellite just lost its connection. Guess it's time for bed? 


P.S. School starts on Thursday. THURSDAY. Gahhhh.

- Antiope

8/27/2011 19:07:35

Wait what...... School starts..... Worst week EVER!!!...

8/27/2011 19:18:53

Really though... All in all a pretty eventful week. A little disappointed in missing out on the quake, but Irene should make up for it. And I'm glad we got some more stuff out of the garden. A little depressing though.


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