The Beekman prepares for a storm
The Beekman prepares for a storm


Mother Nature must be a regular reader of this blog.  Having read last week’s entry, she, too, decided that it was time to usher in autumn.   How did she decide to do this?  She  sent her friend Hannah to follow along with us as we made the train trip up the Hudson. The gray storm clouds, now rather listless having traveled all the way form Africa, made a nice background for the first signs of fall.  The birch trees, always a bit impetuous if you ask me, have started to turn golden and the shy sumac, already thinking of baring its naked branches, has started to blush.

I am filled with anxiety having announced the rather ambitious ’30 Days of Tomatoes’ last week.  In keeping with our philosophy to appreciate and make the most of every season, I vowed to eat at least one meal based around fresh tomatoes every day for 30 days—which is about the length of time we have ripe tomatoes at The Beekman’s particular latitude.

But what if Mother Nature decides to play a game with me and the tomatoes have not started to ripen by this weekend?  Then what?   I would have to change the name to “21 days of Tomatoes” plus  “7 days of Heinz Ketchup and Campell’s Tomato Soup”.  This does not have the same ring to it.

Mother Nature did not disappoint…


You will not be disappointed either.  Check out the HowToo blog every day for the next 30 days to see what I’ve made.  If you have a good idea for the use of fresh tomatoes, please share it.

“TO” TRAIN REPORT: (Each week I’ll give a quick status recap of the train trip to and from The Beekman)

Rather uneventful save for the fact that the mysterious pain in my left arm seems to be getting worse by the minute.

The train was one hour late.



The sun did come out tomorrow.  And thank goodness because there was so much work to be done.

First thing in the morning, Farmer John and I transplanted 4 ancient lilac bushes from the front of the house.  They were shading the house too much and we worried about the clapboard rotting.  This was a daunting task, but we managed it and got them in the ground in pre-selected locations near the caretaker house in under 3 hours.  We even gave them a nice bed of goat manure fertilizer.  They will be beautiful next year.

But by the time we finished, the pain in my forearm which had only been an annoyance all week, was virtually incapacitating.  I could hardly turn my wrist.  Keep in mind that doctors are always the worst patients.  Always.  Besides, who has time for pain when you only have two days on the farm?

I continued to do some of the planned chores:  moving some stones to the vegetable garden border, picking up some of the fallen pears, and harvesting tomatoes.

It wasn’t until I picked up the pruning clippers to cut back one of the bleeding heart shrubs, that I diagnosed myself.

Evidently, the Sunday morning I spent last weekend cutting back the hydrangeas was more work than my forearm muscles could handle, and I had developed a terrible tendonitis.  The best thing to do for tendonitis is to let the tendon rest until the inflammation calms down.

As I began my own weekend-long senescence, this gave Josh the opportunity to do something he has always wanted to do:  play doctor.


You can see how swollen by forearm is in this photo.  Check out the HowToo blog to see the garden-based remedy Dr. J stirred up.

My sincerest apologies that this entry is rather short.  I’m reduced to typing with just one hand, and it is taking more than twice as long.  I must rest.  There are tomatoes to be sliced, diced, and pureed!


Another tell-tale sign that summer is over:  plenty of empty seats on the train.

An older gentleman from Montreal was sitting across the aisle.  At precisely 6:00 o’clock he unfolded a linen napkin with a provencal pattern, pulled out a salad, some cheese and a small bottle of wine.  How civilized.

See what we had for dinner on the train.

by Dr. Brent

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