Too Few BLT's


Picture 248.jpg

This killing frost came last night. The temperature dropped to 19 degrees just a few miles down the road in Benson, MN. This was not a good year for the tomatoes, or potatoes (massive size with thin skins), or the peapods. The orange and red peppers never made it past the green stage. The cold summer left the tomatoes green on the vine and our massive September rains left them un-ripened and splitting open on the vines. I still managed to put up over 30 quarts of tomato sauces and pastes, but we had 135 plants and hoped for more.

And as summer makes its rapid escape, I'm left with some regrets. Too few bonfires, picnics, cold drinks on the lawn while the kids swam. Too few hours of splendor in the grass, way too few Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches. One should eat all the BLT's one can stand- day after day with sun warmed tomatoes straight from the garden and freshly washed greens.

It reminds me of a poem I memorized and love by Emily Dickinson
Nature: XLV As Imperceptibly as Grief

AS imperceptibly as grief
The summer lapsed away,--
Too imperceptible, at last,
To seem like perfidy.

A quietness distilled,
As twilight long begun,
Or Nature, spending with herself
Sequestered afternoon.

The dusk drew earlier in,
The morning foreign shone,--
A courteous, yet harrowing grace,
As guest who would be gone.

And thus, without a wing,
Or service of a keel,
Our summer made her light escape
Into the beautiful.

This year's summer made no light escape. Tonight's forecast -- snow. Two fronts coming through this weekend.

Snow.... already.... October 10th.


I almost feel sad just thinking about summer ending in MN, even though my summer continues here in AZ. I was always so melancholy, or was it just downright sad? this time of year when I lived there. That's why I had to leave!! I wasn't good at putting on my good Nordic stoic face as fall/winter approached!! I hope the winter is mild and next summer a perfect garden year!! Love you...

Thank you so much for the note Kathy!

The snow began last night -- Mike hurrying to tune up the tractor in the dark-- I was covering up the grill (had been roasting a couple gallons of red, yellow, green peppers).

The kids are out of their mind with joy. Do you remember that feeling??? Standing outside in the pitch dark and squealing about the snow pelting them. Alma put out big bowls to catch the snow ti eat.

They were so excited they were all up at 6 am (it is Saturday- we have to drag them out of bed at 6:45 on school days!).

And then Jens came in and said "Mom- you-me outside!" We played for two hours in the snow. Went to the little pond behind the barn. The willow leaves had fallen into the pond and made beautiful swirling paths on the east side where the wind had blown them. Jens and I just sat there poking the ice and leaves with cattails for about 1/2 hour. We collected eggs and got the chickens and ducks water. Then we walked around the edge of the entire farmstead and had a snowball fight.

My heart filled with happiness.

So it is not all melancholy. But I do agree that it is a much harder time of the year. Mike says it will be in the 70's next week.

Yeah Mike!!!!!!!!! I hope you are right. We are also not ready for old man winter to be knocking at our door. Our gardens were poor this year, too. We did enjoy the fresh produce while it lasted but not much to save for winter. Love hearing about the kids. How lucky they are to be living on the farm. I am still jealous.

Hi Kathy,

I see that you have a winter storm watch for tonight and tomorrow. I'm sure the kids will love it--but I am still hoping that we will have a nice long Indian summer soon.

We had a ton of tomatoes that went to waste on the vine because we were not there to pick them. Next year, if you have a shortage of tomatoes, check with us to see what's going on in our garden at the farm. We had as many as we needed during the summer and were rarely there in September. For some reason, our little eco-system let them ripen earlier that down your way.

Did you save a chicken or two for me? I plan to come out there over MEA, so if you still have them, I could pick them up then. I would also like some eggs if you have them--two or three dozen would be nice. It will be a long winter without your eggs.

I will also be out for the Harvest Festival if we don't connect next weekend.

Hope to see you soon.


Yeah...I predict a lovely Indian summer! Colors are supposed to peak at several parks in our vicinity next weekend...hope it's nice enough to take that drive and walk in the woods! Sorry about your tomatoes!! I'm so glad the kids are loving the coming of winter!

Becky- yes- the wide open spaces are good for the kids. Also the work and responsibilities. We are having some "duck" issues right now as the ducks must get butchered soon- but it send the kids into hysterics. So there is good and hard with the farm.

Diane-- Yes! We saved you two chickens and you can have all the eggs you want. Unfortunately, I may be in St. Paul for MEA... so may miss you. But at the very least I'll have Mike leave them in a cooler at your farm.

Carolyn- I hope you are right about the colors. I'm afraid our green tree leaves have just frozen and are falling off. At church this morning the big green leaves were about 1/2 foot deep on the ground. They didn't turn color at all....

Thank you all so much for your notes.

I hate snow!

A fella who's 103 or 104 years old this year always said; "Before you can have indian summer you must have squaw winter" Oh ya ,my sauerkraut is done and its pretty good!! Doesn't even resemble store bought.

Hi Kathy,

I am putting off coming to Artichoke until at least Friday--hoping for some warmer, drier weather. My main objectives while I am there are to dig sweet potatoes and plant trees, and I don't want to do that if it's raining or snowing. I will call your house when I am there and if I can connect with Mike about the chickens, that will work. Otherwise, I'll try to get them from you the next weekend when I'm there for the Harvest Festival. Thanks for keeping them for me!

Evan...maybe you need to define "squaw winter". Maybe we've had it this week??

Just now had a BLT! Not real great. The tomato I used ripened in the house. But it was better than nothing (or store-bought)!

Oh! Just looked closer at the photo here. Those are such gorgeous tomatoes! What's the name of the dark red (or purple?) ones??


The dark purple tomatoes are Purple Prince and they tasted devine!! If I can still find some on the dead vines I will do some seed saving of those.

We too did the "last BLT" bit while Mom was here. Not as tasty as an August BLT.

Diane!! If you have any extra sweet potatoes we would be VERY interested in getting some. Next year they are on my radar. We love sweet potato french fries.

I'm holding out for another bout of warm weather.

Thank you for all the comments!!

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on October 9, 2009 5:18 PM.

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