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The fall of the great tomato plant

Our great tomato plant -- great in productivity, great in flavor, great in height -- has succumbed to gravity. Fortunately, it appears to have been a gentle collapse of the bamboo supports rather than a stem-snapping disaster. We're still harvesting tomatoes from it.

During the week, we harvested enough to make another batch of DWP-dried tomatoes. But we also got a great tip from Dorothy Reinhold, the shockingly talented creator of Shockingly Delicious about roasting and preserving tomatoes using a recipe from heartbeetkitchen.com.  Trying that recipe is definitely in our future -- if we can squeeze enough tomatoes out before our prize plant curls up its roots and dies.


This weekend harvesting required reaching deep into the dark unknown between the stems. Tomato vines have prickles! And who knows what might be lurking down in there . . .

I'm becoming more and more convinced that fences are the best way to go with tomatoes, but obviously they'll have to be well-staked for such a headstrong plant. But that's a task for another season.

The garden patch has turned brown. The only green left is from the tomato vines, the new bean plants Farmer Karen put in, chives, carrot tops, the last of the marigolds and the oregano. Karen pulled out the well-past-their-prime lettuce plants.

Temperatures of 105 degrees and dry Santa Ana winds aren't helping much. The only possible indicator a plant would have that fall is here is the shortening of the days.

We'll be heading back to the Google Extension Service to search for ideas of what to plant over the winter -- such as it is in California -- so stay tuned.

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