Our vision of a bountiful tomato and pepper harvest have come to naught. Timing and Mother Nature have conspired against us, this year – pitiful pickin’s, indeed.

We (as in Victor) planted 7 tomato plants and 8 pepper plants the day after we returned from Sicily. The plan was to can peppers and tomato sauce to give out as Christmas gifts. We were seriously looking at the possibility of so much stuff coming ripe that along with all the jars, I bought extra lids and rings to make sure we could reuse as quickly as we emptied. Instead, we’re looking to call Willie Nelson for a Farm Aid concert. There’s hope that one of the plum tomato plants will still produce a bit, but if we make the sauce this year, it’s going to be from canned tomatoes.

Actually, we will be making sauce at some point within the next few weeks. Whether from canned tomatoes or fresh from our yard, homemade sauce is infinitely better than the supermarket stuff, and we’re going through more and more of it with Nonna’s dwindling food likes. It also is easier to store. The freezer is pretty finite. We have lots of room downstairs.

Most of the folks we’ve spoken with are having tomato issues this year, so we’re thinking it’s more than just getting them into the ground 2 weeks later than usual. The weather hasn’t been nearly as hot – although it hasn’t been as muggy, either – which should have made them happy. It’s a conundrum, indeed.

Seven tomato plants… I had hopes of making a yellow tomato sauce this year, just for something completely different. Yep. Big plans foiled by the fickle finger of fate.

And now for something completely different.

Maybe another year.

Fortunately, we have some other projects going on that don’t require Mother Nature’s outdoor cooperation, so the Christmas stockings shan’t be completely empty but I’m going to miss my hot peppers in February. And yellow tomato sauce.

Next year.