20100925

Change of Season

As the cooler-than-usual summer drew to a close, I took stock of the oddities that happened in the garden this year and realized I'd missed showing one of the most stomach-turning phenomena...
I don't know what that is on the ends of my Amish Paste tomatoes, but those white splotches appeared on a quarter of the fruits. I closely scrutinized each one I picked, and if there was even the smallest hint of a white spot, it did not go into my little veggie basket. If anyone knows what those splotches are and how to prevent them (and whether they'll spread to my other tomatoes -- so far, no), let me know!

I made up for low yields this year with sheer numbers. I have eight tomato plants, four of which have produced, two which never grew larger than a foot tall, but bore a handful of fruit each, one that volunteered itself mid-spring and is just now fruiting, and one that popped out of the ground late spring and probably will not fruit. In the past, I dried excess tomatoes in my oven on low heat. This year, I managed to burn not just one, but two huge batches...
 
Somehow, they don't look quite as burnt in the photo, but believe me, they are chestnut-colored and bitter. I keep them on the counter and try one every day, hoping that either they will mellow or my taste buds will acclimate to the flavor. So far, no luck. In the upper right corner of the photo is the new batch I sliced open tonight. I'll try bringing them outside in the morning to put them out in the sun. We'll see what happens...


Now, as summer has turned to autumn on the calendar, the temperatures have risen, granting us a quick Indian Summer before the shorter days bring on the cooler air. I've saved tomato, cucumber, bean and zucchini seeds, planted garlic bulblets, onion, fennel and lettuce seeds, and the chard has reseeded itself again. I'm contemplating planting broccoli and cauliflower soon.

I am also thinking of more indoor pursuits. This Wednesday, a friend had tickets to the opening night of Molière's Scapin, playing at American Conservatory Theater, and I had the good fortune of being the one he took to see it. The human mannequin in this photo was performing outside the theater as we entered.
I am not sure whether she was hired by ACT or if she was a street performer. My friend works for a local museum and the tickets were comps from his job, so we sat up in the nosebleed section, the lobby portion of which has a great view down the stairs.
And the play? Scapin is a comedy with a fairly foreseeable plot twist that focuses on witty dialog. This production was well acted with a fair amount of improvisation. An enjoyable way to spend the evening indoors.

Happy autumn!