Monday, December 9, 2013

No more tomatoes


Just when it seemed summer would never end, a surprise floats down from the north to put the farm to a test


 The tomatoes lie in a very large pile in the no-grow zone -- where grayish soil rules supreme -- waiting to dry a little and then go up in smoke, along with lots of other plant carcasses.
Firewood puts on a winter coat of frost, top, while a weed shivers in the
morning chill and a hose sticks out its frozen tongue.
 Out here in Singing Frog Farm land, the freeze so far has had only one casualty: a plastic water spigot. And since it was the same one that broke last year there is no possible way to evade responsibility. Other than that broken spigot, however, the nasty freeze has been survivable: The chicken's water bowl must be unfrozen each morning and we must watch as certain of our plants give up the ghost: Salvias, lantana, basil, cardoon, tomatoes, peppers. The surprise has been the parsley, which so far is surviving. We did see a large, hungry-looking coyote along our front fence line and are hoping he doesn't plan on surviving the winter by feasting on our chickens. For sure we will make that at the very least a quite difficult task for him.
 Some of our more exotic plants have found a home in the greenhouse: giant bird of paradise, passion vine and about 25 VERY hot pepper plants, called scorpions.
 While the weather outside is getting icy, farm activity is heating up as we work on our organic certification for next year and look to add a bit more acreage to our fledgling operation.