The veggie patch is 70% wastelands at the moment as I pulled up the dead and finished capsicum, tomato, zucchini and (forgotten) bean plants. It is all part of the rebuild the garden plan. A bit depressing in the meantime, though. All bare.
I got about 3kg of tomatoes off the plants (left some particularly hard green ones on the plants to go to waste). They will be made into Green Tomato Chutney as per Stephanie Alexander’s recipe.
The tomatoes really were a raging success this year. Sure, some more so than others, but overall I couldn’t be happier. My plant selection was pretty good: Principe Borghese, Health Kick, Reggae Roma, Green Zebra and Beams Yellow Pear. The winner was the pear. Both for taste and yield. The green zebra tasted great, but my plant was a bit stunted so I got tiny tomatoes and not many of them!! The borghese were also really delicious. The health kick tasted good, but I didn’t get a whole heap. Same with the Reggae Roma. This is all in comparison to how many I got from the pear. I’m not sure if it is because the reggae roma and health kick were in pots or if that is just how much larger varieties yield.
Next year I am going to plant different large ones. Maybe those ones that are all kind of bumpy (obviously, some research needed).
I’m trying to get on top of my pruning early this year. Last year I left it late. Really late. I think some of the issues in my ornamental garden might be explained by late pruning (ahem, Bloodgrass).
So the raspberries have been chopped and I took the netting of my tomatoes so they could catch the last of the sun before we descend into pure winter gloom. There are still heaps of tomatoes on there, though.
My little capsicums are coming along although a lot of them are chilli shaped. Must be the variety I bought. I can’t remember really. I think one of the plants is from seed, hopefully it is a chocolate capsicum, there are a heap that I bought as seedlings after the failure of all my seed growing efforts, and then one plant (the one that has a normal looking capsicum on it) was a more advanced plant I got a few weeks ago when I thought my other plants weren’t ever going to increase in size or produce fruit.
My strawberries are fruiting again! How bizarre. This time the strawbs are marginally bigger. My children are still picking them and eating them in one swift motion.
I guess you could say all is good in the patch 🙂
One last scorching week of summer or proof of a damaged eco system?
Whatever the case, my tomatoes are still coming and it seems I finally have a few more capsicum coming on.
Bolstered by this warm weather, I ventured out today to buy a few more additions to my culinary garden (although these ones will live amongst the ornamental garden). I finally got a fig tree. For a while, when inspecting homes to buy if I saw a fig tree in the yard I would immediately say I wanted the house no matter what state the actual building was in. How ridiculous. Well now I have my own fig tree, which the tag says will grow to 5m x 5m. I will be pruning mine carefully. I also got a new lime tree. The variety is called a Rangpur Lime. It grows well in really cold climates and the limes are not actually green but look more like an orange. Here’s hoping!
Upon the insistence of my son I picked up a Chinese Blueberry bush. I love blueberries but I think we will be needing about 5 more bushes to meet my son’s expectations of how much fruit he will be getting from them next year.
I finally pulled up my carrots and it turns out they weren’t purple ones but actually Rainbow. And completely mutant. Oh well.
High light of my week was the insanely good soup I made out of my mini yellow pear tomatoes. Here is the basic recipe:
What you need:
- 800g-1kg mini tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp sugar
What to do:
- Roast the tomatoes in the oven until a few just start to get a little bit of brown.
- In a heavy base pot saute the onion and garlic, both roughly chopped.
- Add in the stock, tomatoes and sugar. Cook for about 10 minutes.
- Puree with a stab blender and add salt to taste.
- Serve with a nice bit of bread like this Irish Soda Bread I made using rye flour and fresh herbs (Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme and Lemon Thyme).