What remains

A few days ago, I suspected that our tomatoes were suffering from late blight.  I did a little research, but wasn't convinced until I saw the first rotting fruits.  At that point, I knew for sure.  I got up this morning, had a cup of coffee and then went outside to pull my tomato plants.  It was sad – I may have actually cried a little bit.  I harvested all the green tomatoes uneffected by the disease.  The rotting fruits and every part of all seven plants were closed up in large, plastic garbage bags to contain the blight.

The green tomatoes fill two large pyrex bowls and the better part of a shopping bag.  It would be a terrible shame to waste all this food.  I am hoping that some of them will ripen on my windowsills.   We will certainly fry some of them and I hope to find some recipes for pickled green tomatoes (like tomolives) or maybe even a green tomato relish.  If you have any tried and true recipes, would you email me (hillroad at bellsouth dot net) or comment with a link?  I'd appreciate that.

Also, if you are growing tomatoes in your garden this year, take a minute to educate yourself about late blight.  There was a great op-ed piece in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago and this video will show and tell you more.  Many farms and gardens have been effected by late blight this summer  – even Martha Stewart's tomatoes got it.  Left untreated, late blight will spread to other gardens and farms as it is an airborne disease.  Taking care of the problem is being a good and conscientious neighbor.  As much as it hurt me to lose our tomatoes, I know that pulling them was the best thing to do.

We won't be able to plant tomatoes or potatoes (it affects them both) in the same soil for a number of years.  I'm still researching, but I think there is a good chance we can plant some fall crops there now and other vegetables in the spring.  That's the silver lining for me.   That and the fact that I really wanted a third raised bed for next year.  If Fatty wants tomatoes, it looks like I'll get it.

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