It's getting cold - there have been a few freezes in the valley, and some snow in the hills. Geese are winging it south and the more tropical plants - lantana, the figs, tomatoes and kiwis are all dormant. Leaves still cling to the trees of some maples and oaks, and the bradford pears and crab apples are getting ripe and delicious.
It was a crazy, expansive year of planting, breaking ground, meeting folks, doing outreach... hearing hubbub build and watching folks pluck tomatoes, kale and herbs from the beds.
It's time to wrap things up for the year - we mulched the garden beds on the bike path, pulled up the tomatoes at 'Frog Town' (near Maplewood parking lot), and planted garlic in the Nagle Walkway beds in Northampton.
We've been pruning this years fruit tree plantings as they drop their leaves, replacing the handful that didn't survive the year, and gearing up for one more planting of apples, grapes, pears, and pollinators.
Joshua Newman of Owl & Raven canned up a batch of green tomatoes from Frog Town. Here's his recipe:
A bunch of green tomatoes, halved
2 cloves of garlic, cut in half
A head of dill
1 cup of water, warmed with 4 teaspoons of non-iodized salt dissolved therein
Cooled with another cup of water so you don't cook the veggies
You have to cut anything with a skin, or the skin protects the inside from fermenting.
Pack it in a pickle jar, starting with the dill and garlic so you can get the tomatoes out later. Then stuff the tomatoes in hard, doing what you can to get the open sides of the tomatoes to face in, rather than against the glass.
Fill it with the water over the top of all the tomatoes, but ideally leaving a little room.
Put it on top of the fridge for 10 days. Every day after the first, you'll probably need to burp it. Do it over a bowl or the sink slowly, cuz you'll squirt salty picklewater everywhere otherwise. If you left a little room at the top of the jar, this is where you'll get the benefit.
Once fermented (they'll taste like beer or vinegar, depending on who's home), put them in the fridge!