Photo by Aglaia Kremezi
I know that for most of you fall, if not winter (was that a snowstorm in Boston this weekend??), is advancing rapidly, and your local, fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes flower and plump in the memory alone. In our corner of the world, though, we still enjoy warm days and only somewhat chilly nights, so our tomato plants continue to produce fruit. We had a good harvest this summer--lots of dark red, pink, and orange fleshy heirloom tomatoes, as well as plenty of red cherry and tiny pear-shaped sweet yellow fruits, quite rare in Greece, that our guests admired enormously.
But while the last fruits of summer are still on our palates, the time has come to plant the winter and spring vegetables--lettuce, spinach, chicory, radishes, carrots, kardamo--the spicy Greek cress with feather-like leaves--and of course the fava seeds that will give us its tender green pods in the spring, right before Easter.
That means uprooting the last tomato plants, and Costas, my husband, completed the task with fervor, ignoring my usual, nostalgic protests. Each year we go through the same argument, and although I know he is right, and surely our poor garden soil needs a bit of rest, fed with compost and manure before we start planting again, I feel sad to remove tomato plants, that seem to jingle their fruit in protest, as we uproot them from the soil.