I left the tomato seedlings out in the greenhouse overnight, and most of them were killed by frost.
I wasn’t just stupid enough to forget to bring them in; I knew, 100%, that they had to come in. However, I had some allergic reaction come on in the evening with a rash that spread quickly all over my body with redness and bumps – strange and alarming. The benadryl I took for that, that I’m not sure I’ve ever taken before, conked me out like an anesthetic, so that I woke up in the morning howling “the tomatoes!”
I ran out and looked and they appeared fine. They were just frozen in the posture of life, though, and when it warmed up they collapsed, their structural cells exploded by the frost crystals inside them. I was sick about it all day.Strangely, there was no pattern to the survivors. Some tomatoes are standing perfectly unscathed, among their fellows looking like steamed spinach. Same strain, no pattern to where they were on the rack… a mystery. Either perfectly intact, or destroyed. No in between.
I’m hoping that many or most of them will stage a comeback, like they did after the great chicken decimation last year. Most of them have most of their stalk intact- still firm and upright, and may regenerate leaves in a few days. I’m sure their roots didn’t freeze. And we have many smaller seedlings lying in wait in case of just such a disaster, but they will be behind. It’s a setback, any way you look at it.
Mystery allergy rash was gone in the morning, thanks to benadryl. I’d rather have the tomatoes and keep the rash.
The rooster formerly designated as “Stew” got a reprieve today. Jack the Jerk went in the pot, and is missed by absolutely no one. He was just a menace whose mission in life was to disturb the peace. GH world is much happier now.But Stew was also scheduled for demise due to bad behavior. We wrangled him up, but I couldn’t pull the trigger on him because I have a soft heart and he doesn’t know any better. He’s young. He had bad role models.I believe he had a bit of an attitude adjustment, too, after a protracted period of being hung by the feet while his future was under debate. I cried. He watched, passive, one alert eye watching the discussion. It’s hard. One strong rooster who is aggressive ruins the atmosphere for everyone else. The hens are on edge, the other roosters are looking over their shoulder. Roosters have a role – a very important role in a free-range flock that I always advocate for – roos are on constant lookout for threats, they “herd” and keep track of all the ladies, and they announce food discoveries. Good strong roosters who do these things are priceless. But when a rooster doesn’t do these things, he’s a liability.
In the end, I decided I’d do the work of putting him on Kijiji and rehoming him, because he’s very good-looking and still might do very well elsewhere. So he was returned to the GH, and by all appearances, is much subdued and has a new perspective after his near-death experience. We’ll see if he sleeps that off.
The Poultry Palace is palpably more peaceful now.
Since I don’t eat them, and don’t think of them as meat, or a farm product, birds here get to live long good lives, and get executed only as a greater-good calculation. Farm animal death ethics is something I mean to write more about. Not today. Today, I feel good about Jack being gone, and also good about a second chance for Stewie.