?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
06 November 2010 @ 09:53 am
[Garden] What Next?  
The status of the garden in three conversations:

1.

Me: Hi, guys.
Tomatoes: HI!
Me: Look, um. It's, you know, the middle of September.
Tomatoes: Fascinating!
Me: So. Well. What that means is, fall is coming.
Tomatoes: Yay!
Me: Yay?
Tomatoes: Spring was great. Summer was EVEN BETTER. Obviously, fall will be the best yet.
Me: Um. Gosh, this is awkward. See - you're supposed to die in the fall.
Tomatoes: No way! Get out!
Me: Yeah. I'm sorry, but it's true. So, I was thinking - maybe you should dedicate a little more energy to finishing off the tomatoes you've already got going, and maybe a little less energy to making new branches and flowers?
Tomatoes: No.
Me: No?
Tomatoes: No. Good chat, though.

2.

Me: It's the middle of October now.
Tomatoes: Isn't it wonderful?
Me: I notice you're still doing the branch and flower thing.
Tomatoes: We're not just making tomatoes, we're making tomato infrastructure! We're planning for the long haul! We're going to synergistically leverage our incentives as soon as we figure out how!
Me: You know, I was going to plant a winter salad garden where you are. But I can't, because you won't stop growing. Even though you're clearly supposed to.
Tomatoes: According to who?
Me: A lot of books. I'd be willing to read the relevant bits out loud.
Tomatoes: Hah. Books.
Me: Tomato plants cannot live forever.
Tomatoes: We plan to try.
Me: So that's a no on the graceful decline thing?
Tomatoes: Sure is!

3.

Me: GUYS. IT'S NOVEMBER.
Tomatoes: I believe I can fly! I believe I can touch the sky!


So, yes. It's November, and my tomato plants are, in total defiance of everything my gardening books say, producing not only tomatoes but also flowers and new shoots and everything. Still, I'm prepared to call this the end of the season, and trust that sooner or later the tomatoes will also figure that out.

The question becomes: what next? I actually started gardening because of an urban homesteading book I read. I figured that if I can do it, we don't need to worry about the end of oil or the zombie attacks or the apocalypse or whatever, because anyone can do it. I'm the Most Hapless Homesteader. But obviously my homesteading journey has only just begun.

So I made a list of potential homesteading tasks I could learn to do next (or relearn to do, in the case of the one I've already done), and I'm going to ask you guys to vote on them. You should get some say, since I will almost certainly post about the inevitable disaster here. (Also, if it goes anything like gardening, the results could actually trigger the apocalypse, and in that case, I would like some company in the blame department.)



Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
 
agehanokoisexybee on November 6th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
Bread. Bread is delicious and will make your house smell wonderful. And if it fails you will have handy bricks with which to build your Apocalypse bunker.

(Also, I am sooooo jealous of you and all of your yummy tomatoes.)
tried to eat the safe banana: Ivythefourthvine on November 6th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
I actually used to bake all our bread, about a million years ago. And it was good! But I would have to relearn how to do it for this altitude.

(And the tomatoes are awesome and yummy! I totally agree! Just. I don't know. They seem to be in season denial or something.)
cattrainecattraine on November 6th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
Sometimes if you cut back the branches it will 'encourage' the tomato plants to put their energy into actually producing fruit. However if these are mutant plants, perhaps they are best used as a line of defense in the Zombie Apocalypse. *nods sagely*
tried to eat the safe banana: Ivythefourthvine on November 6th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid cutting back these tomatoes would turn our friendly relationship into a war. If that happened, I would lose. I am not ashamed to admit it.
the pirate queen of norway: most beautiful place on earthashkitty on November 6th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Bah. We still have fresh tomatoes where I live. In WALES. Where it is cold and wet. You live in CALIFORNIA. Where there is sunshine all year round. YOU WILL TOTALLY HAVE IMMORTAL TOMATOES.
tried to eat the safe banana: Ivythefourthvine on November 6th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
Yay? I guess? *cowers fearfully*
Olna Jenndormouse_in_tea on November 6th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
I voted yes to all the food things (to please the Earthling! Pls show him this comment when he takes over the world)

Although no on the alcohol. It is possible to have explosions with that.

I don't think you are allowed to do woodworking. I mean, are you really allowed to use a saw? Or nails?

Also dubious, lye. I think composting may have the potential for explosions too.

:P
tried to eat the safe banana: Ivythefourthvine on November 6th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
I don't think you are allowed to do woodworking. I mean, are you really allowed to use a saw? Or nails?

True fact: I was banned from shop class by my school district, because of fear of mayhem. So on the one hand: historically, no. I haven't been allowed to use a saw or nails. On the other hand: at least with expectations like those, there's nowhere to go but up.
macey muse: going placesmacey_muse on November 6th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
Um. You know you can cut those off, right? The extra flowers & branches? So it'll put more energy into the current fruits?

Also, when you live in northen England, this happens /all the time/ - only for us, autumn comes early, so the plants are still growing because, you know, it's growing season! and then the weather is all 'lol no' and we end up with tons of green tomotoes.

Which is where the 'making preserves' part comes in! Because there are loads of awesome recipes for green tomato chutney. Also, whilst you're sterilising jars /anyway/, you might as well make up a few batches of tomato sauce and ratatouille with the fresh veg that's around at this time of year (for you warmer folks, at least) to preserve for later on.

also, the best part of baking bread: leaving it to rise overnight, so in the morning - voila! warm, fresh-baked buns! om nom.
tried to eat the safe banana: Foodthefourthvine on November 6th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
Um. You know you can cut those off, right? The extra flowers & branches? So it'll put more energy into the current fruits?

You are invited to come over and cut my tomato plants back, if you have sufficient life insurance. I, myself, am too fearful to try such a thing.

I assume there will be some green tomatoes left, when the tomatoes finally decide they are done? Maybe? I don't know. The end of the season is not going like I thought it would.
(no subject) - macey_muse on November 6th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - macey_muse on November 6th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
joyce: kayleejoyce on November 6th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
Yogurt is dead easy. You can make it in your crockpot. Seriously, easiest thing ever. :)
Lu (Not Your Average Retelling)elucreh on November 6th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
Same with butter...making butter is a preschool activity I utilise frequently.
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 6th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - joyce on November 6th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Caminando, desaparezcomargueritem on November 6th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
I can't chime in on the dreamwidth post (that's okay!) so I thought I'd put my $0.02 (canadian) in the jar on the LJ post! We might need the metal when the apocalypse comes.

I vote for bread making! I love bread! I have a bread machine and I love my bread machine! ♥_♥ If you don't want a bread machine, I think you can use a KitchenAid like appliance. And if you don't have that, I've heard that bread can be done by hand, but that's just crazy talk. :) :) :)
tried to eat the safe banana: Ivythefourthvine on November 6th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC)
(If you'd like a DW for commenting and polling purposes, I would be happy to give you one. If you're not interested, no problem, of course.)

If I do bread - and it looks like, barring a major influx of canning partisans, that's next - I will be attempting it by hand. In the zombie apocalypse, there will be no bread machines! Also, I'm not buying a bread machine until I know for sure I will use it LOTS. (I might borrow my sister's, though.)
Holly: Happy - Parkerhollyxu on November 6th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
I think baking and preserves are safe, insofar as planet-ending capacities go? (And not as painful as sewing will be if it goes wrong. ;P)

Anyhow, good luck with the tomatoes.
tried to eat the safe banana: Ivythefourthvine on November 6th, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
I think baking and preserves are safe, insofar as planet-ending capacities go?

If this all goes horribly wrong, I am quoting you.

And I will need luck with the tomatoes. *exceedingly wary*
Time Is Like A Kiss: indigo tail animated by radiotelescope mjenlev on November 6th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
I think I should be a bit frightened by the tomato endurance. Still, they seem like a charming group of mutants. I'm just sayin'.
tried to eat the safe banana: Ivythefourthvine on November 7th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
They are a totally charming group of mutants. But I've read the comic books; I know how this goes. I'm just wondering if they're the Brotherhood of Mutants or the X-Men out there.
(no subject) - jenlev on November 7th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
can't find my drink or pantsgeeklite on November 6th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
Possibly you could train your tomato plants to be your own post-apocalyptic army?
tried to eat the safe banana: Ivythefourthvine on November 7th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
Really, that's more hackthis's brief. She's got the army of superplants.

Although I feel like maybe I'm ready to compete with her in the arena of supervegetables. *nods thoughtfully*
qwerty: competentxsmoonshine on November 6th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
Maybe you should make sure your tomatoes are being safe, you know. Like your banana. Maybe it will slow down or stop the fruitfulness. Or maybe they will discover the wonders of cloning.
lexstar29lexstar29 on November 6th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
I went for composting as I figured it complimented the gardening you already do, but perhaps making jams and chutneys could be a good way to go. You could make tomato chutney to use up the supplies from the never ending tomato plant!
Lu (Not Your Average Retelling)elucreh on November 6th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
I feel the earthling would most appreciate other food-oriented tasks (although...that may mean it will further prejudice him towards store-bought food...)
lazy_neutrinolazy_neutrino on November 6th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
I've put my last tomato plant into a pot and brought it inside, effectively calling its bluff. How could I not? It still has pretty yellow flowers...
lazy_neutrinolazy_neutrino on November 6th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
Also, I vote bread. Don't have a dreamwidth so can't add to the poll, but there's something amazing about children sticky with dough. Except for the cleaning up.