The heirloom tomatoes available at market are winding down. They will be very scarce for weeks, assuming there won’t be patchy frost tonight, which still has potential to damage weakened plants.
Weeks later, you can still see signs of freeze damage at Bee Heaven Farm — and signs of recovery.
The heirloom tomatoes vary in damage. Some varieties are all but destroyed by the freeze. The ones with blackened, shriveled leaves are not coming back. A few varieties are re-growing leaves and still have fruit ripening on the vines. And some look positively fluffy with their green leaves and are blooming again. The quantity and quality of the second bloom tomatoes remains to be seen. If they’re just as nice as the ones we’ve had so far, expect more heirloom tomatoes at market, just not right away, perhaps in a couple months. “Hope springs forth!” Margie said.
The heirloom beans have been all but decimated. One variety with purplish stems, known as Purple Pod, re-grew leaves and looks a lot better than a week or two after the freeze. It’s even putting out a few, shy blooms. The question is, will those blooms set and grow beans. And if they grow, how big and what shape are they going to be in? All of that is doubtful because they have a big problem with mildew. “The leaves are all frozen out and the plants are more vulnerable to everything,” Margie explained to me.
This is the lasting, almost hidden freeze damage that takes weeks to emerge. The Gold of Bacau beans aren’t coming back very well at all, and the few pods that have grown since the freeze are small and misshapen, nothing you would want to buy at the market or find in your CSA box.