Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First of the year

Yesterday I pulled out my long underwear. This morning I finally succumbed to the cold and brought out my winter coat. (Until now I've been wearing a warm, lined sweatshirt/jacket thing that I love.) I'm glad I did, too, since it was the first morning I've walked to work in below-zero. Until it hits that mark for the first time each year, I can sort of fool myself into thinking that it's still autumn and not really winter. I mean, there might be snow on the ground but it's not actually cold. And really, making it to November 1st before getting below zero isn't a bad mark. I did have to wrap my scarf around my face since my nose went numb, and it was consequently also the first day my eyelashes froze. (The cloth pushes my moist, warm breath up my face and it freezes my eyelashes.)
Now it's a balmy 3 degrees F.
And yet, my cherry tomatoes are still producing. I got a nice plump one yesterday and there are at least five more which will be ripe by the end of the week. We don't have any salads planned with dinners (and no lettuce) this week, but they're fun to just eat raw, pop in your mouth, and squish. I'm not a huge fan of uncooked tomatoes (which I'm trying to fix) but even I enjoy that tremendously.
I've been doing something kind of funky as an experiment, too. Gardeners (especially organic ones) will often talk about things like fertilizer tea, manure tea, compost tea, etc. I don't have any of those things. But I do have actual tea. Instead of fertilizing the tomatoes, I've been adding the dregs of my teapot (and with the hard water at the U, there's always an odd portion at the end covered in some sort of glossy film that I don't like) to the watering pot and fertilizing with that. It's been working so well that I've started doing it at home, too! Apparently my plants love tea as much as I do. Not only are the plants thriving (I had to cut them back last week) the tomatoes seem bigger than they were when I was using commercial fertilizer. Now, not only am I not spending any money to make my fruit a bit better (after all, it's the leftover portion of my tea which would be there anyway), but I'm also using something that would otherwise go to waste.
Maybe I should ask Shane about adding his leftover coffee....

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