Welcome to the first Homegrown Roundup and Reading!
Every Saturday morning I will be publishing a Homegrown Roundup and Reading post. I’ll share with you what has happened in the homestead this week. I also want to add to our learning and share some simple and green reading with you that I’ve been looking at from around the internet.
This week has been all about tomatoes!
Our main crop in the kitchen garden this summer has been tomatoes – cherry and slicing types.
Tomatoes have been the star of the veggie patch, because the kitchen garden is still small (4 beds) most of the growing space has been dedicated to our favourite vegetable. There’s a bit of basil, some rockmelon, marjoram and beans in there too.
We are growing two varieties of slicing tomato – Tropic and Moneymaker (disease resistant so good for our subtropical climate). The cherry tomatoes are from the Green Harvest company’s mix called “Cherry Rainbow”. A gorgeous mix of different types – a real lucky dip. We got Yellow Currant and Red Pear.
All of the tomatoes are ripening now so we need to keep using them somehow.
This week apart from eating them fresh from the vine all day, we are having our first try at preserving them. My husband had the brilliant idea of picking the cherry tomatoes this morning and freezing them with basil leaves for pasta sauce. Just grab from the freezer and add into your sauce mix when it is cooking. I am making a huge batch of Passata (italian tomato pasta sauce) tomorrow – wish me luck as it is my first time! I will put it into our big pasta sauce jars that I have been saving. I hope we get a lot to keep on the shelf for winter.
Here are some photos of the current kitchen garden – small but productive. You can see that the tomato beds are one big jungle. But lots of fruit on the vines! The white bags are exclusion bags from Green Harvest. They tie around the branches and keep the fruit flies from laying their eggs in the tomatoes and spoiling them. Green Harvest are just around the corner from us so I buy all of their seeds and gardening equipment.
One of my “making from scratch” activities this week has been making baby food. I make fruit purees and lentil veggie purees. They don’t take long as I don’t peel any of the veggies, just the fruit. After steaming I just blend it all up with a stick mixer. It takes about 15 minutes (excluding cooking time) for two week’s worth of food to freeze. Why complicate things – keep it simple!
This weekend I’m planning the winter kitchen garden. I’m excited this season as I am putting in two broad beds for growing heaps of main starch crops – potatoes and carrots. I hope to learn how to store them properly for eating later. If you know how please let me know, I’d love to learn from you.
This week I have been reading a lot about vegetable growing and Permaculture. Permaculture is a design method for sustainable living that really excites me. I’ll be talking more about it on the blog later on. Thank you for reading, I really appreciate your support.
Have a super homegrown weekend!