Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Fought The Blight And The Blight Won

Each year I grow 20 – 40 tomato plants depending upon my needs and if I’m selling at the farmers market and each year I battle the tomato blights. Thanks to a regimented spraying of fungicide, I normally come out on top in this annual battle for the centerpiece of my garden, but this year I came in second. While I’ve fared better than some and still getting a few maters, it’s been my worst season in several years. According to my relatives in West Virginia who have just recently began seeing the blight, they were told by local extension folks they were experiencing a new strain that is not impacted by the usual treatments and the same could be happening here.

Blighted plants

Blighted fruits

We are still managing to harvest a few to eat and preserve. Since we have some extra freezer space, this year we are freezing our diced tomatoes rather than canning them. Our neighbor, Janice, does this and swears by them, so awhile back we froze one container then used them to see what we thought, and liked the result. We prepped, scalded, peeled and chunked just like we do for canning, then put them in containers and into the freezer - saves the canning step.
We also have enough to make up a batch of vegetable soup, with all veggies but the carrots out of the garden.

The weather is a little warm for soup, but it was mighty tasty.

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