Saturday, September 10, 2022

I picked tomatoes today

Today was a tomato-picking day. I filled three, 16 quart stock-pots with loose tomatoes. I expect that to cook down to about 20 quarts of stewed tomatoes. That should get us very close to our target of fifty quarts of tomatoes going into the winter.

I picked today because we expect rain on Sunday and the ripe tomatoes will split. Osmosis pulls water through the skin and the sweetest tomatoes are the most impacted.

It has been a dry summer

The MSU Integrated Pest Management page has a section on irrigation. One of the critical measurements is rainfall received versus "Evaporation Potential" over the same timeframe.

Looking at the difference between those two numbers from May 1, 2022 until the present, a few nearby weather stations claim the following:

Albion (20 miles south of Eaton Rapids): 22.7" of evaporation vs. 18.5" of rain. The remainder must be pulled out of the subsoil by the plant roots but a 4" difference is not a big deal.

Charlotte (10 miles west of Eaton Rapids): 22.9" of evaporation vs. 13.6" of rain. That is a difference of 9.3 inches and that is a big deal.

Clarksville (20 miles north of Eaton Rapids and 30 miles west): 24.6" of evaporation and 8.2" of rain during the growing season. That is a deficit of 16.4" and farmers without irrigation are facing a disaster.

At my little patch of heaven I am getting a great deal of fruit drop from trees that should be ripening their fruit three weeks from now.

I expect another four weeks of growing season before we have a killing frost.

Mrs ERJ and I went for a walk today and miscellaneous

We averaged 2.5mph.

Small game season opens September 15. I might have squirrel and sweet potatoes for dinner that day.


  1. I fondly remember my urban raised grad school roommate’s reaction when I mentioned eating squirrels. He was literally shocked. He asked “How many squirrels have you eaten?” My reply: “Hundreds. too many to count between squirrels and rabbits” from my earliest memories until that ripe old age of 25. He was truly astonished.

    1. Many people, are truly incapable of imagining someone elses paradigm. Many claim to be totally empathetic, too. Fascinating...

  2. We made sauce this year as well but did it in the oven.
    Mostly romas... but all kinds were washed and tossed on a baking sheet (~1" deep side walls). Sprinkle as desired with salt, oregano, basil, garlic, olive oil, onions, etc. Bake at 350F for 2-4 hours, as many trays as your oven will hold, turning once or twice. Mine started getting a few black and crispy edges at about 2.5 hrs so I pulled it. Let cool a little, run through the food processor to separate seeds and skins, etc. Cooked it down just another 30 minutes... dee-lish!


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