Today we gathered up another batch of late ripening tomatoes and cooked them down into sauce. Tomatoes in October is out of the ordinary for around here. And there are still a lot of green tomatoes, and blossoms! We harvested melons from the garden–months beyond their normal harvest time.

From my foraging group, we are hearing reports of harvested asparagus shoots, morel mushrooms, and other spring fare. My iris bulbs are sprouting.

It was a long, wet, mild summer, capped off with an extended warm autumn. Though some of the trees have turned and dropped their leaves (you can always count on the American black cherry trees to go early), many, if not most, of the trees are still sporting full green foliage. I took a walk in the forest today, and it looked like August. We’ve noticed that when the trees do go, the color is drab and brief, before fading to brown. We are accustomed to brilliant fall color. Spoiled I guess. The past few years when the autumns were mild, the color season has been increasingly less spectacular. The good news is that this year there is some relief from the constant drone of tourists in helicopters.

Usually, when I can tomatoes, it’s in the heat of the summer. I throw open the windows and vent the steam to the great outdoors. Now it’s a little on the cool side out there, and I’m not willing to dump quarts and quarts of steam into a closed house. Rick came up with the perfect solution. Reduce the tomato sauce outdoors, on a propane burner. I keeps the moisture and tomato aromas outside. I had to hang the laundry on the far end of the clothesline, for fear that my fresh clean clothes and linens would pick up the tomato fragrance, but otherwise, it worked well.

By all accounts, the abnormally warm weather will run at least another couple of weeks. I don’t mind–we’ve still got plenty to do outdoors. I have some transplanting to do–though I was hoping the berry plants would go a little more dormant before I moved them. We just have to wait and see.