Friday, September 19, 2014

Harvest season at the old school

The frost last week did more damage than we realized. The beans are pretty much finished. The squash and cucumbers, too. And tomato alley has lost all its leaves on the north and west sides. The fruit is mostly undamaged there, but is dropping off.

This side of the tomatoes has gone from lush to tattered.

So we're gathering all the green tomatoes from the damaged plants, and bringing them in to ripen. The undamaged plants are doing fine and we're leaving the fruit alone, as the forecast promises lows in the 50s for the next week. And the kitchen is full of bowls and baskets and boxes of tomatoes in every shade from lime to ruby (as well as the Russian ones in blacky purple). We're still having tomato sandwiches most nights.

I've been working on the boiler room in the basement, preparing to store all our root crops down there. We're going to set up big bins on pallets on the concrete floor, and fill them with damp sand and beets and carrots and Jerusalem artichokes. The spuds will go in milk crates or burlap bags.  I figure the winter will show which areas of the boiler room and the coal room are best for each crop. (That means we don't have any fancy devices for measuring humidity and are flying by the asses of our pants.)

Here's the outside stairway to the boiler room. The door and window were boarded up, and I finally had to use the reciprocating saw to cut the door loose from its frame. It took forever to get the job done, and I was stumping up and down the inner and outer stairs getting three different saws and the drill and an extension cord and vise grips and crowbars and wedges and screwdrivers. One at a time, of course, because I was sure each trip that this tool was going to do the trick.

The acoustics down there are awesome, so I burbled little tunes, and hummed and muttered and (let's be honest) bitched as I worked. At one point a frog or toad joined in with a huge, wet, echoing "rikkit" that filled the space. We did a little duet. I looked for him by flashlight to no avail. But I was pleased to have a giant frog in the basement, and hoped he'd stay out of the spuds.

So I finally free the door (to vast and echoing applause) and gather my tools for the climb out when – plop – a tiny brown tree frog lands on the step right in front of me.

I guess he liked the acoustics, too.

I opened the door and let him out.

No comments:

Post a Comment