Shifting Toward Winter

I love the way that green tomatoes when frozen on the vine transform into translucent orbs. My tomato plants were loaded with them after our recent hard freeze.


Despite the cold temperatures, I managed to keep several green, leafy vegetables alive. This week I harvested the last things I’m likely to get out of my garden for the year: mesclun, tatsoi, and cilantro. I used a “spring soup” recipe to cook them up. Poetically, I probably used the same recipe to cook up the very first things from my garden this past spring. It’s a wonderfully adaptable recipe that makes a creamy sausage, potato, and vegetable soup, and it comes from one of my favorite cookbooks: Simply in Season.


garden view November 2014


With these greens harvested, I know my garden will shift more and more into a color palette of browns and greys as we move into the darkest part of the year. Still, I remember that there is beauty to be found in the muted colors of winter.

black cherry

And in clearing leaves from under the magnolia tree, I decided that the art bundle that I’d secured to the tree in March, 2013 had eroded to the point that I couldn’t re-hang it. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it next, but the pieces of it have weathered beautifully.

Art Bundle 1


5 thoughts on “Shifting Toward Winter

    • Usually some time after the first freeze I will clean up the dead tomato plants and tomato cages. I’ve been afraid to compost the plants for fear of encouraging diseases, but I hate to throw everything in the trash, so I give the dead plants a little extra shake and let the frozen tomatoes fall into the garden so at least some part of the plant goes back to the earth. I tend to have quite a few green tomatoes still on the plants when the frost comes. The squirrels seem to mostly ignore cherry tomatoes, unlike the larger tomatoes I tried when I first started my garden.

      • Yes, tomato plants do often get those nasty diseases! Good plan! BTW, I take the green tomatoes into the house and leave them in a bowl on the counter until they ripen. Most make it, a few don’t. And no squirrels–at least, not *in* the house! 🙂

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