Okay, we’ve been through a couple of frost warnings, but tonight the weather radio is calling for a freeze warning — 30 degrees! EEeeeek! So all day we’ve been picking tomatoes. Buckets and baskets of tomatoes. Of course I’ve already canned up a lot of sauces, but now we have something like fifteen bushels of tomatoes, from huge red ones to medium-sized green tomatoes, stacked up in totes, bushel baskets, and buckets on our unheated back porch. It’s unheated but still stays twenty degrees warmer than outdoors. And there are still thousands of tomatoes out there — mostly green ones.

I called my friend Jeri, whose tomatoes had been killed by a hail storm. She and her husband, Jim, were over last week to pick two 5-gallon buckets of ripe tomatoes. I knew she could use more. So she hurried over this afternoon and picked two more buckets full.

We were totally amazed at the tomato crop this year. The tomatoes were late, but they were huge and abundant. We had wonderfully giant Cherokee Purple, Old German, Tree Tomatoes, and a new heritage Italian tomato given to us by a friend. He got them from an old Italian immigrant who smuggled them into the United States in his socks! And, boy, are they good, too. Did I mention that these tomatoes were well over a pound — most two pounds and better. We had a couple that actually looked like pumpkins!

I’m going out to cover our remaining frost sensitive crops and am hoping against hope that it really doesn’t freeze tonight. Wish us luck!


  1. Thank you so much. I will surprise Mario with those seeds. When his family came from Italy they brought seed with them also. The next generations of children have not tried to save the seeds so most of those varieties that came from Italy have been lost. He will be thrilled to gat some seed from the ” old country”.

  2. All,

    I’d be happy to give a few seeds to you, as long as I have them. Send a SASE envelope to me, through the magazine and I’ll tuck a few in for you as long as I have them.


  3. Would you be interested in selling a few seeds from the Itallian tomato. My husband is from Italy and I think he would be thrilled to get some seeds from the old country.

  4. Here in northern Idaho, we got our first freeze two weeks ago. It came out of nowhere, 78 degrees during the day, then WHAM, we woke up to 27! They weren’t predicting it, so we didn’t prepare. I woke up to flat garden. It’s been hot ever since. I sure miss my evening vegetable hunts. I’m keeping all the other harvesters in my prayers.

  5. Keep praying that one year we will get a tomato crop, I wouldn’t know what to do. What an awesome crop you got th9is year. If you ever get enough seed from the heritage tomato would love to have you share. Congrats on your tomato crop.

  6. HOLY COW! Look at the size of those tomatoes! My tomatoes were soooooooo sad this year. It was just too hot for them. Hoping next year will be much better.

  7. great looking tomatoes hopefully you want get a freeze tonight. have fun and enjoy your canning session.please post and tell us you got them all put up and didn;t lose a lot.

  8. Wow! Lucky you. Our tomatoes did very poorly this year as did most of the rest of our garden. The only exception were the peppers and they did only fair….Our garden was so bad this year we even killed our Rhubarb and we’ve been told that is pretty bad when you kill the rhubarb.

    If we lived closer (Northern Michigan here) I would come and buy a bushel or two from you…they look wonderful. Hope the weatherman is wrong and you do not get the freeze tonight.


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