End of Summer


Today we ate the last fresh tomatoes of 2005. There are still the ones in jars of chili and spaghetti sauce that we canned in the fall. From August until now there has been tomatoes galore. Fried tomatoes, salad tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomatoes in stir fry and shish kabob and so many other ways dishes. Some might get tired of the bounty. I keep reminding myself to enjoy it for it does not last. I dream of growing tomatoes year round, or at least perhaps ten months of the year in a greenhouse. For a couple of years we did until the ice storm of ’98 trashed the greenhouse. Maybe again soon.

Speaking of summer, it finally feels like January. Up until now it has been increadibly temperate like early fall or maybe spring weather. Certainly it has not been the 60째F reported by Pablo in the Ozark’s but still, unseasonably up in the twenties. The calm was unusual as well. We have actually been able to fly the glider plane repeatedly. Usually our winters are filled with high winds that sculpt the snow into sharp edges and drifts. The last two days have been more like what I expect for winter here on the mountain.

To dream, perchance to garden…

8째F/-6째F, 4″ Snow, Sunny, Windy

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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12 Responses to End of Summer

  1. P.V. says:

    What happend with yesterday? I missed not reading your message of the day.

  2. Hi PV, Yesterday Blogger.com was choking. Every time I tried to post Blogger coughed. Perhaps it had a cold or something. Maybe there’s a virus going around. :) I finally gave up and went to bed. This morning when I got up Blogger was healthy again and I was able to make my posting. This is why I have been working on transitioning to WordPress. I’m making headway but the WordPress version of my blog is not yet ready for prime time.

  3. Liz says:

    What kind of magical tomato skills do you have? I haven’t had a fresh one since around Thanksgiving.

  4. Perhaps it is because we grow a lot of tomatoes??? I’m not sure about magic though. :) This year we were late getting our first ripe tomatoes but when they came in we got a bountiful harvest. Once we hit September we watch the weather closely. If we cover the plants and get them through the first couple of frosts then they may get another month or two of growing. When the frosts get too harsh we harvest all that are left and do triage (can, save to ripen, eat now). Usually we reach January. Getting to the 15th was very good.

    PS. I like the new header picture on your blog!

  5. Leslie says:

    You cover the plants and get them through the first couple of frosts. You cover them with clear plastic? Something else?

    And then do you keep them covered as winter progresses, or do you toss the cover on and off as temperatures dictate?

    I love tomatoes and for you to have just enjoyed your last, well, I find that envious and I want to emulate you!

  6. dragonfly183 says:

    Ok walter, i think this is the section of code i am looking for

    body {
    background:#000;
    margin:0;
    padding:40px 20px;
    font:x-small “Trebuchet MS”,Trebuchet,Verdana,Sans-Serif;
    text-align:center;
    color:#ccc;
    font-size/* */:/**/small;
    font-size: /**/small;
    do i change the section where it says “background” I am guessing the 000 is black. i am going to have to find a picture, lol.

  7. Leslie, we cover with a thin 2 mill translucent plastic sheeting if available but if not and frost threatens then almost anything will do. This year we experimented with not uncovering some sections and they did better than the sections we uncovered during the day. I plan on experimenting with this further this coming year. Just this week we have been working on building some tunnels of 666 Welded WIre Mesh that will support plastic to melt the snow and warm the earth early. In the fall those same tunnels will serve to support the plastic creating long miniture greenhouses. Experimental right now. In a year I’ll be able to say more about how it is working and which techniques of construction and maintenance worke well.

  8. Mark V. says:

    Walter perhaps you can share your techniques for growing tomatoes, extending the harvest adn storing them so they keep? I’ve tried the plastic day covers and wrapping in nespaper but mine are long gone by now.

  9. patina says:

    i dehydrated sliced tomatoes year before last. they were sweet and wonderful and easy to store. last year a fungus destroyed all my plants, every last one. we went on a long hunting trip, returned to find the crop too far gone to save. what a sad situation. this year if we have to leave i am hiring a tomato-sitter. wink!

  10. grammyswart says:

    Sorry, I am a new reader of your blog. Are the pigs not fenced at all, do they run free?

  11. Hi GrammySwart, Welcome. The pigs are on pasture during the warm months and then during the deep snows of winter we keep them on garden corrals. This year the snows have been light so they actually still have access to the south pasture which is about seven acres or so and fenced around with high tensile electric wire. During the grazing months the pasture is sub-divided into paddocks for intensive rotational grazing and then the sheep and pigs rotate through those sections of about an acre or two each.

  12. DragonFly,

    Here’s the section of code (I hope it reproduces here in comments!):

    #blog-header {
    background:#fff url(“http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/BlogImages/HouseWinterPan200512x790.jpg”) no-repeat right bottom;
    margin:0 auto;
    padding:0 20 8px;
    font-style: italic;
    color:#111;
    height:150px;
    }

    That is the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) for the web page. It is in the header section of the HTML, not to be confused with the ‘header’ of the laid out page.

    In the code above there is a URL which points to my directory of images I use for header backgrounds.

    I just snuck over to your blog and peeked under your page source code and found this:

    #header {
    width:660px;
    margin:0 auto 10px;
    border:1px solid #333;
    }

    That is what defines your header box. If you add this line:

    background:#fff url(“http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/BlogImages/HouseWinterPan200512x790.jpg”) no-repeat right bottom;

    so it looks like this:

    #header {
    background:#fff url(“http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/BlogImages/HouseWinterPan200512x790.jpg”) no-repeat right bottom;
    width:660px;
    margin:0 auto 10px;
    border:1px solid #333;
    }

    Then you’ll have my background in your header. Freaky! :) Then the next step is to change the URL to something that points to your own picture. That is the portion between the double quotes after the url( on the background line.

    Note that your header box is currently 660 pixels wide so make an image that is that wide for the best results.

    Now, here is the secret: Your header is dynamically resizeable since it has no height specification. If a viewer is looking at your site with much enlarged text, as I would with my glasses off, then the header will be taller. So if you use an image that is taller it will display the bottom part of the image for some people and more for people using larger fonts. Kinda cool. So, pick something that is the maximum height someone might view it at. Maybe 660 pixels wide by 300 pixels high.

    I envision something dark and somber, bears chasing dragon flies. :) Have at it!

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