Almost all of these photos were taken last Friday and Saturday when the warmth of summer was still in the air and my world was filled with tomatoes.
Little smiley cheeks filled with fat tomatoes, colanders in the poly tunnels and vegie gardens and market gardens over-flowing with tomatoes, crates full of tomatoes on the kitchen floor and plates ripening on the kitchen window sill, hours and hours spent picking and sorting and eating and cooking tomatoes.
So. Many. Tomatoes.
Bottles filled with the delicious flavours and aromas of summery sunshine; onion, garlic, basil and tomato.
And the Fowlers machine was bubbling away, an hour and a half at a time, preserving these bottles full of rosy goodness for the leaner, colder months ahead.
This year I made a commitment to grow enough tomatoes to eat them fresh while they are in season and to preserve enough for our family to eat for an entire year. We eat a lot of tomatoey things so that is a lot. So far I have frozen nine 900gram tubs and filled 118 Fowlers jars, I think I'm close.
But due to our three weeks away, I had counted on a few more weeks of picking and preserving. A few more weeks of reaching under green vines searching out rosy redness and filling up colanders and crates and bowls.
But the last Saturday night the temperature dropped to zero and we had our first frost of the season. The vines were burnt black and the gazillions of green tomatoes waiting to ripen were damaged.
And then I picked myself up and picked 10 crates of the best looking green tomatoes to bring inside. I'd love to hang the vines but we have too many hungry mice and possums around.
The chooks will have the time of their lives with the remainders.
I'm grateful we still have the poly tunnels full of healthy happy vines to extend the season a bit longer.
But I still find that first frost of the season sad. That first frost signals the end to Summer and the onset of the many long, cold, wet months ahead. The end of red foods and the start of a mostly green diet instead.
So even though I only took these tomato filled photos a couple of days ago, they are already out of date. The time has passed. The season changed.
I'm doing my best to embrace the autumn, the Esse is burning hot, the soup is warming on the hot plates, I'm wearing tights and I'm knitting a scarf. I'm not sure I can bring myself to photgraph the frost burnt vines though, they're still a bit to raw and reminding.
How about you?
How are you with the change of seasons?
Are you heading towards the warmth or the cold?
Have you ever preserved enough to last all winter long?