Friday, September 3, 2010

Battening Down the Hatches

Hurricane Earl is going by to our east this evening. Yesterday morning they were saying it would still be a category three hurricane when it passed by. Yesterday evening they downgraded it and said it would be a category two. This morning they say once it gets to us it will only be a category one. Not only that but it is tracking slightly farther to the east than they expected. All this means that we will probably have tropical storm force winds, but not hurricane force winds. We will probably get a lot of rain here, but probably not as much as we have in several storms earlier this year.

But that doesn't mean we don't do a little preparing before the storm. We packed things into our shed that were scattered over the yard. This morning I was out cleaning up the garden. Last time we got rain, all the tomatoes cracked. So I was out picking any tomato that had any hint of red on it. The Principe Borghese and Chocolate Cherry are much more susceptible to cracking so all that seemed to be full size were picked regardless of their color. Principe Borghese cracks very easily. After the last rain I didn't get a tomato from them for a week. They all cracked and were useless.

All of the San Marzano's got picked. They don't seem to crack at all, but they are dying. I'll probably rip out the plant after the storm, but I figure the fruit are better before the rain than after. While I was picking them out I noticed this little guy:

RIP. I have had to throw away some very nice tomatoes that they have eaten. Luckily not too many. But as time progresses I seem to be losing more. I found another little pinkish one on a tomato that I had brought in.

I picked all the cucumbers of any size on the trellis. I figured any swinging fruit might rip the vine off the trellis. The peppers were likewise stripped of fruit. Since I had so many chili peppers piling up, I made another jar of pickled jalapenos and serranos.

There were many dried pods on the dried beans, so I did a good sweep through them and tried to pick all that were ready. Now I think I'm ready for the storm. I just wonder if I should have picked all the chard too. High winds can shred the leaves, but I think they will be fine.

13 comments:

  1. We spend most of the morning getting ready for the storm as well. I picked most of the semi-ripe tomatoes yesterday, but will do another sweep through soon. I hope we get lots of rain, the garden can really use it.

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  2. I hope that earl doesn't create too much damage in your garden.

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  3. I'm not sure what to think of Earl. We just got the first band that passed through. Lots of rain, but no wind to speak of. I didn't pick as ruthlessly as you, but did a thorough clean up. The garden is almost finished anyway. Stay safe.

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  4. We haven't done any preparations at all. Hmmmmmm...now I'm starting to get a bit worried. I didn't think that it was going to reach us at all! I should probably at least move my potted trees to the covered porch.

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  5. GrafixMuse, I hope we get about 2-3 inches of rain. I hesitate to say a lot. We had 11" of rain this spring in one storm. That was a lot and flooded way too many places. A lot of East Arlington is in the flood zone (not our house though).

    leavesnbloom, I'm hoping it won't either.

    The Mom, We haven't even had a drop of rain yet. But the bands are being very weird. A ton of rain in some spots and none in others. - oh wait as I wrote that it started raining.

    Thomas, I wouldn't worry too much. Earl is pretty far out to sea. We might get gusts to 50 or so, but it shouldn't be too bad. I think one of the storms we had earlier this year was probably worse. We had some microbursts in the neighborhood that took a lot of trees down. I think it was in June? I'm guessing the winds won't be as bad as that. We didn't prepare at all for that one since we didn't know it was coming.

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  6. The first rainstorm of the season often takes me by surprise. I hope you got everything.

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  7. Oops! Yes, 11-inches of rain is way too much. Looks like Earl may give us a few inches overnight and be gone by mid-morning. Amazing.

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  8. We thought we would get some of Earl's rain, but we didn't get one drop today. It was really cloudy, and that's about it. Hope you faired just as well with the storm. How do you pickle your peppers?

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  9. Hope all is well in your garden after the storm! Love that jar of pickled peppers!

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  10. Sorry it took me so long to get back to your question. I do refrigerator pickled peppers. I make a brine of half vinegar, half water. For each cup of vinegar I add 1 tablespoon of salt and one of sugar. Make sure it is all dissolved. Then I just slice the peppers and throw them into the brine and keep it in the fridge. I find it is a great way to store them. I don't mind the little bit of vinegar taste in most foods. In fact I rarely notice it at all as I don't use that many hot peppers in my food.

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  11. Thanks Daphne for posting the brine info on my blog. How long does it keep in the fridge?

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  12. I ought to keep a couple of months.

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