Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Weather Changes and Food

So it has been an odd year for weather, according to meteorologist and climate scientist, this is only going to get worse. I'm not going to pretend I am qualified to talk about the possible causes of that etc. There is plenty of information on the web about that.

Instead lets talk about melons, tomatoes and peppers. I have for the last several years grown roma tomatoes in pots on my patio. Usually by early July I have ripe tomatoes. This year I had tomatoes, more than usual, I was ecstatic! I love nice ripe homegrown tomatoes. Bruschetta, sauces, salsas, tossed in a pan with a little garlic and olive oil over fresh pasta. Nothing beats a fresh, ripe tomato. Problem was I was missing the ripe part. Here it is, August 11th and I have just yesterday got my first ripe tomato. Seems the cool weather we have been enjoying slowed down the ripening process. Tomatoes are used to it being hot to ripen and we had had night time temps in the lows 60s high 50s. Just the last couple days we have had a good wave of heat and finally I have ripe tomatoes.

Melons, coming back from a couple days at my Mom's I passed a local fruit and vegetable market. I stopped in for a couple things and out front they had a big box of cantaloupe melons. However they were no bigger than a softball, the sign said "Personal sized melons $1". I thought to myself, "Cool must be a new variety" I was tired and on the bike (of course)so I thought nothing of it. Yesterday I went to the farmers market and one gentleman also had these personal size melons ($.50). So I asked about the variety, his answer surprised me, they were just the normal melons he always planted, however again due to the weather they just hadn't gotten as big as normal. Most of his crop had come in that size. I bought one and it was if anything a little over ripe. I suspect he left on the vine as long as he dared trying to get some size.

I then stopped by the lady that sold hot peppers, I posted a picture of her wonderful selection a couple weeks ago and she had urged me to comeback in a week and she would have even more and a rainbow of colors. Well this had been two weeks and the selection hadn't changed. I asked her and she told me "they just aren't getting ripe, too cold". I had hoped to post a picture of her table for you, however again the weather didn't let me.

It is sometimes the small things that get overlooked in the talk about climate change. This has the possibility to change things in our lives we never even considered. Take the pepper lady, she undoubtedly earns a fair portion of her income from her pepper patch, what happens to her when she can no longer grow peppers? Politicians focus on what we need to do combat climate change and they argue about how much it costs and how we can't have a "normal" life without SUVs and more highways etc. Maybe they should ask the pepper lady what she thinks?

btw, John is busy moving back home again from his summer job. He should be back with a post later this week-Jim

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