Last Tomatoes of 2006

Those are our last tomatoes of the 2006 growing season. We enjoyed them on sandwiches of left over corn beef from New Years Day’s dinner. They may not be much to look at but they were delicious. Last year we finished our last tomatoes on January 17th.

I’ve read of a toy that is for dogs where you put food treats inside the rolling ball. The dog rolls the ball around and plays with it to get rewarded with the treats. This is the pig size version with a couple hundred pounds of bread in it. We had filled the barrel yesterday, about one day’s feedings worth, and this morning Will and I lifted it up over the fence and dropped it in. The grower pigs got the idea right away and had a lot of fun with it. Since they were so full from yesterday and also had whey it went well. I would imagine that if they had been really hungry it would have been a mob scene!

Today’s housing projects were installing the door handle on the tiny cottage’s new door and fixing the hot water tank in the old farm house. Last night after dinner Will noticed there was no hot water when he went to do dishes. The hot water heater is nine years old. After disassembling I discovered the switch had died. Of all the problems in the world that was the easiest to fix. I’m glad I didn’t have something like the exploding hot water heater that Wayne had. With his experience in mind I tested the pressure release, reset and did a draining to make sure there was no sediment – there was none.

Outdoors: 43°F/24°F Sunny, some Clouds
Farm House: 65°F/53°F no fire
Tiny Cottage: 57°F/49°F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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9 Responses to Last Tomatoes of 2006

  1. Anonymous says:


    How did you check the pressure relief valve? I don’t really want to just valve it off and heat it up… Might end up with a destructive test… I guess I would know, though.


  2. Patti says:

    Wow that is a pretty good shelf life for homegrown do you do it? the pig pic is cute!

  3. Charles, I let water flow through the pressure release valve by flipping the test lever. That just made sure the valve wasn’t stuck closed which could cause trouble. I didn’t actually test if it released at the right temperature which would be idea but not as easy. If you figure out a way to test the actual pressure I would be interested.

    Patti, the secret is Triage, Triage, Triage. When we harvest the final tomatoes in the fall we sort them hard. Only the best get saved on shelves to stay as fresh tomatoes, the rest go to soups or canning. This includes green ones. If they have a blush of white they won’t ripen though. We space them apart so they are not touching each other and get air flow, are stored in the dark (mostly because that’s where I have to store them and they don’t need sun to ripen) and they are on sheets of newspaper (to catch the inevitable leaker) on shelves. Then every week they get picked over and the best ones moved into the kitchen for fresh eating, bad ones taken for soup and really bad ones go in the compost bucket to the animals. What I really would love to do is actually keep growing them, indoors, through the winter!

  4. Leslie says:

    What’s that barrel made of? Seems like the pigs would destroy it in short order. I’m impressed. Thanks for the extra notes on the tomatoes.

  5. The barrel is a olive barrel. See this post.

  6. Oops! That wasn’t complete. I meant to add it is made of heavy grade plastic. It is a 60 gallon barrel. We have a gentleman down the road who collects food grade barrels from restaurants and stores and resells them. They are very useful for all sorts of things from storage to dog houses and more.

  7. karl says:

    your plumbing supply will sell you a threaded pressure valve (around $15) that screws onto your hose bib (spigot at the bottom of the tank). screw it on, open the hose bib and read the dial. that’ll tell you the pressure of your water heater. furthermore, a permanent pressure gauge can be installed anywhere on the hot line in your house. it reads the pressure of your water heater since (in most cases) it equalizes throughout the entire system unless there is a pressure reducer after the water heater.

  8. Kristianna says:

    Hey, Walter, that wouldn’t happen to be the “barrel man”, would it? My husband was talking about getting some barrels from “the barrel man” for his bio-diesel stuff. Small world, huh?

    Those tomatoes look fantastic for this time of year. Have you read _Four Season Harvest_ or any of Eliot Coleman’s work?


  9. LOVE the pig fun!! How funny is that! I especially favor the black and white pigs you have – they are much to observe I’m sure.

    Hope y’all are having a great start to your New Year ~

    The Jacobs Family
    (waving from the South)

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