Battening Down the Hatches

As if the earthquake wasn’t enough, it looks like we’re going to get a visit from Irene this weekend…

Oh, joy.

Time to tie things down, or put them away.

It’s mostly no-brainer stuff… If the wind could pick it up and hurl it through a window, it goes down the Rabbit Hole (That’s the vestibule to the basement, so-named not only because it resembles Alice’s portal, but because it was once home to a couple of pet rabbits.) Potted plants, lawn furniture, tools, watering cans…

If it can’t be taken below, it’s got to be tied down. The wheels on the planters are helpful when it comes to picking tomatoes. In 70+ mph winds? Not so much. We should be good here as long as the deck rail holds.

It’ll hold.

What about the vegetables? To pick, or not to pick…that is the question…

At last check, NOAA was predicting that Irene would be down to a tropical storm by the time she arrives here – sorry, Outer Banks and Delmarva, looks like you’re getting the worst of it this time – but that still means high wind, torrential rain, and possibly, hail.

Hail is not good for growing things…

Any tomatoes that are even slightly pink will come in on Saturday morning…

But what about all the huge green ones? There are lots of them; very big, and VERY green. I don’t know whether to leave them, and hope for the best, or pick them early…

Any ideas?

The beans and squash are on their own.

They’ll be fine…


23 thoughts on “Battening Down the Hatches

  1. What to do with the green tomatoes? 🙂 I bet every Southerner who reads your blog knows exactly what to do with them! Fry those babies! I like the flavor of fried green tomatoes, but not the fried part, so I cut up some onions (Vidalia or any sweet ones) and green tomatoes and steam them or make green tomato soup. If you have never tried them, the are totally different from the flavor of a sweet, sun ripened tomato. In fact, I think they taste more like the tomato vine smells if you brush against it. A lot of people pickle them too with onions and peppers.
    Maybe the storm will turn out to sea and you and your veggies and the whole region will be safe. I hope that for you.

  2. Well, I certainly hope that Irene loves the sea more than land and veers east, out to sea. As for the tomatoes, I seem to recall Grandpa picking all of his large, green tomatoes in the Fall, before the first frost, and placing them in paper bags, out of the sun, in a cool place — not cold, but cool. My family had no tradition of cooking green tomatoes, so, the smaller ones were left behind. I hope this helps or someone can give you something based upon more than my recollections. Be safe.

    • I think I may do that with the biggest of the green ones, and hope for the best with the smaller ones… Saw the first blush on the San Marzano today, so I’ll at least have one of those!
      The way the forecast looks now, we actually want it to go father to the west…if it wobbles east, I’m toast.

  3. Can´t add more than the folk above re the tomatoes – think maybe at this point some will still ripen if picked. Hope Irene doesn´t come too close (why are they always given women´s names?!) and that you come out of it safe and sound.

  4. What a dilemma. To pick or not to pick! so apt. Hard to batten down a tomato! have you thought of picking half of the almost ripe ones onto the window sill?.. and crossing fingers for the rest. Do I sound like a sit upon the fence kind of person? how terrible!..I have a chutney recipe for green tomatoes!! c

    • We share a fence rail, that’s for sure. All the almost-ripe ones are coming in…it’s the not-a-bit-pink-yet bunch that I’m debating whether to leave or not…I found a green chutney recipe, and a green tomato jam that sound like fun, but I thought I’d be making that in October right before the first frost…

  5. I thought of fried green tomatoes like one of your other posts…hopefully you can find something on the internet with new suggestions…? More importantly, please be safe….while we here in Louisiana are soooo grateful for the first rain we have had in months, we do not want our neighbors to the north to get washed out to sea!!

  6. Mama, your blog is getting so popular! Makes me proud 😀 also…our newest tamatoes aren’t rippening yet either. Hopefully they won’t drown this weekend

    • Making new friends is great, Butterfly! I wouldn’t worry about your tomatoes. You can always move them onto the porch if it looks like things are going to get crazy up there…
      You don’t live on the coast anymore, remember? 😉

  7. You could make green tomato relish. I love that stuff. Never made it, but I hear I you need green tomatoes to do it.
    I hope everything is OK with Irene. We get cyclones in Australia, same thing I hear as hurricanes, but they rotate in different directions, however, having said that they don’t come near us, we are too far south, thank goodness. I would be terrified and love you attitude to them, sounds like it isn’t your first. Do let us know how it goes please.

    • Will do, Leanne. This will actually be my first ‘big’ one, assuming it stays big, but I spent the first 2/3’s of my life in Tornado Country…it’s easier to prepare for something you can see on the radar for days before it hits you!
      I like green tomato relish, too! It’s a southern-US favorite…

  8. The tomatoes that they ship out of Warren are picked green and they ripen on the way to their destination. I like the relish idea from your Australian friend. Do be careful and stay in touch.


  9. So, what a summer for you !….
    After Cleo, the “earthquake”, and now Irene is on your line of sight……..
    I ‘ll follow this weekend on internet, not the same sensations…
    perhaps, the vegetables will be drectly in the plates….
    God bless you !

  10. My mother used to individually wrap each green tomato in newspaper and place them in a box which went into the basement when she had to pick them green. I remember one year she did that before a hurricane (Agnes, I think) came along, but she usually did it just before the first frost.

    Stay safe.

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