Posted by: locaphile | October 16, 2013

Autumn raspberries, winter tomatoes

The weather has turned blissful here in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley.  We may not have a great climate for tomatoes (damp, cold) but the autumn weather can be beautiful – sunny and dry for the past week and more of the same predicted for another week.  The fog lingers in some places along the river valleys nearby but it usually burns off by mid-morning.

Locaphile Raspberry Shortcake October 2013For some reason we have raspberries continuing to ripen through October.  The canes may be confused but we are enjoying the continuation of a little bit of summer.  The cultivar is called Raspberry Shortcake and is intended for containers.  Ours is much happier in a large container and this is perhaps why we are having a second flush of berries now.

This plant celebrates a big family visit that we had two summers ago during which much food was consumed and the crowds called out for more raspberries.  The little plant has a lot of growing to do before it would satisfy the extended hungry family.

Loving the tomatoes, I am intrigued by the idea of storage tomatoes that might last through until spring if kept properly.  The blog Diary of a Tomato apparently began with such a quest, growing tomato seeds in Maine that were sourced in Italy.  Their experiment has continued and since our tomato climate is almost as poor as Maine’s, we may be able to follow their lead.  We will go in search of the possibly elusive seeds of the  Pomodorino del Piennolo, Aprile & Ponderosa.  Reading the Diary of a Tomato I am concerned that, even if we could coddle these fruits through to ripeness, the complicating factor is that we have no appropriate storage space to keep them in.  Our house is kept cool, but not too cool or we would all have mildew behind our ears and elsewhere.  Further, we have no garage or outbuilding that cannot freeze.  Our crawlspace is damp, our porch is lovely but prone to freezing, and our greenhouse temperatures are too variable for storage (though the winter salad greens are quite happily sprouting in there right now).   A cold cellar would be wonderful not likely….  so many nondurables… perhaps I will start with trying to find the seeds and grow the plants next year.  Gardeners are ever hopeful, hope being that thing that springs eternal and all.




  1. Hi there, thanks for the mention! We’ve been storing the tomatoes in our basement in not ideal conditions but still with some success. A lot of winter storage is trial and error, and we learn more with time. I’ve just been reading that husk tomatoes (ground cherries) can store up to 3 months, and might be an easy place for you to start — leave the husks on and store in a mesh bag someplace cool and dry.

    • Growing and storing ground cherries sounds like another fun project. Thanks for the tip.

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