Snow in summer. No, not the flower.

Well…we already had frost last Wednesday night, and an intense cold front moved into southern Alberta late yesterday.  Heavy rain overnight is expected to turn to snow flurries by this afternoon (it’s apparently already coming down in the north), and the whole mess is supposed to persist through Wednesday.

I picked all of my tomatoes yesterday morning – vine ripening at minus 2 degrees Celsius or colder is a pleasant concept, but tricky to achieve.  Anyone know a good green tomato recipe?  (I’m not keen on them fried!).


(From the Capitol Hill Community Garden, Calgary, Alberta – photograph taken 6 September 2014)

I know this chilly blip on the weather radar won’t last, and we’ll have more sunshine and warmth before long, but this zinnia and I are thinking about packing our bags and heading south.  Like South Pacific south, where spring is just arriving.  I was talking with someone a couple of days ago and we were laughing about how weather-obsessed we Canadians are – but you can’t blame us, can you?

Okay, you know I’m going to ask it:  How’s the weather where you live?


  1. We’re enjoying mid-70’s here in Kansas, although this week is supposed to give us some 30’s (Fahrenheit), which is low for September. Early winter? Long winter? Here in Kansas, we share your obsession with the weather!

    • I sure hope now that this snowstorm has finally blown itself out here that winter-like weather stays away for a couple more months – we need a break! 30 degrees does sound a bit chilly for Kansas in September – hope it didn’t last for you.

  2. I am struggling to think it might be Autumn and am still clinging to the last of the summer sun here in the east of the UK, I can really understand if you have signs of snow already why you obsess over the weather. Can you really fry Green tomatoes, – I have lots that are not ripening, what do they taste like?

    • I’m glad you’re still getting the warmth there! The storm we just came out of was brutal – I’ve never seen anything like it in September. We’ve had snow here in September (we’ve even had it in July and August), but nothing like this.

  3. In Minnesota, we are also big weather watchers. Beautiful sunny day today and 70F but later this week we will get cold rain and probably one night a bit above the first frost.

  4. SNOWING here.

    The green tomatoes should just ripen off the vine. Our friends used to just ripen their green tomatoes in empty ice cream pails. I covered mine when I saw the white stuff, hopefully I was in time.

  5. You said that four letter word that starts with “s” and ends with “w.” OMG I’m not ready. Please say it isn’t so. I brought quite a few green tomatoes in last year and they ripened on the counter. Good luck and don’t send that weather south to us. 🙂

    • I definitely wouldn’t wish that storm on anyone – it was horrible! Three days of insanity and now the clean up begins….

      I have ripened tomatoes on a shelf in my livingroom but I have so many they won’t fit this time! I’ve put them in a box with some newspapers and that seems to be working.

  6. Hi Sherry, Waking up this morning to white spruce trees outside, I recall my first winter in Canada when we had six months winter and I was wondering how on earth one can make a living in this country. Then a radio announcer quoted a Bible verse: “This too will pass”. Green tomatoes: I recall my mom making some sort of sweet-sour pickles; it tasted good, but I don’t have the recipe. Just make sweet-sour pickles and instead of cucumbers use green tomatoes. Love Grandpa

    • Hi, Grandpa – hope you and Grace are doing well! I don’t know if you received as much snow there as we did – that storm was something else! I’m so sad to see all the damaged trees.

      One of the other community gardeners (who was also picking all of her green tomatoes before the weather got ugly) suggested pickles as well – I will check online and see if I can find a recipe. As you say, I can just make a substitution. I’ve never eaten pickled tomatoes, but I bet they’re delicious. If I make them, I’ll definitely bring you some the next time we visit! Hugs to you both!

  7. Hi Sheryl. That’s a bit chilly for September. How about chutney with the tomatoes? Shame I don’t have a recipe for you – my auntie’s famous one got lost and she’s long gone! Here we are having a warm and humid spell after a much cooler August than normal. The swallows are only just leaving us to fly south for winter, so I think that’s a good sign for a long mild autumn as they are often gone mid-August. Stay warm and hope the sun comes back soon!

    • Chutney sounds like a great idea – I’m thinking maybe I’ll try a small batch of that and another of salsa. Unless I can get the tomatoes to ripen a bit quicker, that is!

      I do hope you have a mild autumn there, and plenty of sunshine yet! 🙂

  8. Hfffi Sheryl, We just came out of a hot spell…..75F early morn and getting to 90’s and very dry. We had a good rainstorm over the weekend and it’s cooled down but we could use a good rain. I just saw the Old Farmers Almanac winter prediction on FB…….it wasn’t pretty!

  9. We left Calgary and drove to Saskatchewan where it rained, rather than snowed, but we are getting frost at night! Yes, we Canadians are weather obsessed, it gives us (safe) common ground to share, and we all know gardening and weather go hand in hand, what we do in our gardens is weather dependent! I am hoping the weather improves at least a little!

  10. We are weather obsessed here too. We have had a few nights of near frost already but this week the day time temperatures have risen to seasonal normal again, (at last!) after the coolest August for many years. My mother makes Green Tomato Chutney which is luscious but she is unwell at the moment and I daren’t ask her to give me the recipe at the moment. I see that other people have recommended it too.

    • I hope your mother gets better very soon!

      Thank you for the suggestion for the green tomatoes – I am definitely going to try the chutney; Janice above sent a link to a recipe which looks pretty tasty. Glad your September weather has rebounded, with warmer temperatures.

  11. I have to say that watching the weather these days I thought – glad we live in Ontario! I am sure we’ll get our fair share but a bit later (I hope)…

  12. Oh poor Sheryl!!! No Fall? Surely that snow will not stay as yet until spring! The weather here in Southern Ohio was still brutally hot and sticky but finally some cooler fall weather is around the corner.
    About those green tomatoes…if you still have them: use them instead of apples in a good apple pie recipe and instead of using cinnamon and the likes, use thyme of rosemary: you will be pleasantly surprised!

      • I did end up making a pie with some of the tomatoes – but in the end, I opted for a sweet version. I added a few raisins and some apple slices as well as a tiny bit of cinnamon. It was absolutely delicious! I would never have thought of this idea…next time, I will try the more savoury recipe to compare. Thank you for the suggestion, Johanna!

        Have a fabulous week!

  13. That zinnia is beautiful!
    I spent 10 hours on a motorcycle ride yesterday … started in rain, 70 degrees, headed south and rode in warm temps under cloudy skies, rode home in fall weather – cool and windy.
    Quite the mix

    • Thank you! Unfortunately, the early wet snow completely decimated all the sunflowers we grew at the community garden this year (we didn’t have as many as last year, which I guess was a good thing in the end). So much damage to all the plants! Sigh…I guess it’s that time of year, isn’t it? So sad to have to put the garden to bed! It seems like we just started planting seeds….

      Have a wonderful week!

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