The sweet, final gasps of summer


Our tomatoes had been ravished by deer earlier this year. I walked out in early July, only to find them all cropped neatly off about a foot or eighteen inches off the ground. It was devastating. Most of my garden is only there so I have an excuse to plant tomatoes - nothing is so satisfying as slicing up a brandywine that you just picked and putting it on the plate. 

I was disheartened, but I tied up the fragile, abused stems to stakes anyway, and sort of forgot about it. I let the weeds grow around the tomatoes as an unintentional camouflage. I got on with things. And my garden got on with itself.  

The one thing that has performed exceptionally, insanely well were our fruit trees. We had already harvested pears and apples. And our peach trees have been flush with fruit for weeks.  Oddly, our apples were ready to pick weeks ago (early), but our peaches have taken some time to fully ripen (late).  In part, I think this is because we didn't thin the fruit at all - meaning the trees had to work a bit extra to bring them to full sweetness.  But oh, how sweet they are. 

We ended up picking more than a bushel (50lbs) worth of peaches off of three trees. Not counting the dozens of drops that we threw out to the pigs and the chickens. Peach cobbler. Peach pie. Peach ice cream (made by our neighbors, who shared our bounty).  As a Georgia boy, born and raised, I continue to marvel that we've gotten such great peaches up here in the frozen wastes of Yankee land. 

And meanwhile, our tomatoes had gotten on with things.  

I was picking peaches, and looked over into the scrubby, neglected tomato patch, and spied something red. Sure enough, the tomatoes had made a full recovery, and were heavy with fruit. Brandywines, sungolds, mortgage lifters - they're late to the party, but they're making a good showing in the last gasp of summer. And I'm not about to let them go to waste!  

An afternoon in the garden, dirty but happier for it, and with a peach cobbler in the oven, the Boy and I took a much enjoyed celebration on the porch, and had ourselves a little ukulele lesson.  


What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?