Autumn Bounty

I've Never Seen So Many Tomatoes!

I have never seen so many tomatoes for sale at the market as are being offered at the moment. Outdoor tomatoes are available in truckloads. Great nutrition, taste and cheap as chips. I scored a few bags at the end of one or two markets which I promptly turned into herby tomato sauce and as a result, my freezer is fair bulging with flat pack zip lock bags filled with the best of the red stuff. I’ve also been freezing bags of Passionfruit pulp as well as home grown purple beans which annoyingly go green when cooked.

There is something about autumn that sends the squirrel in me foraging and setting aside stores in preparation for the lean winter months which stretch ahead. And I’ve been seed saving. Those purple and green beans which got away on me will be allowed to dry out on the vines and I will fill a few click clak containers with my very own white haricot beans. My parsley, coriander, basil, radishes, percel and dill have also been allowed to go to seed and I will carefully fill white envelopes with the precious treasures ensuring ongoing organic crops next year.

Phil The Pear Man Is Back

It’s always nice to welcome back Phil Platje with his fabulous pears. Last Sunday he was selling an unusual red pear called ‘Stark Crimson’ which was a bit of a crowd puller but his main crop is Comice which is coming in now fresh off the trees. Comice ( prounounced comeece) is the queen of the pears, sweet and juicy and says Phil, this year has been a boomer crop for him. Pears tend to be one year on and one year off and the autumn 2014 pear harvest is clearly one of the good years.

Devine Apples

Phil who works part time for Mike Rose of Devine Fruits helping him prune his apples trees in early winter. Phil knows as much about these apples as he does about his own pears. Newstead Gold is a crop unique to Devine Apples and is a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Braeburn – the golden look and the crisp tarty taste.

Nashi's- The Cross Dresser

If you can’t decide on apples or pears try a combination of both – nashi pears from Kanes have the pear taste with the crisp juicy texture of an apple.

Rock-On Melons

Continuing the supply of the freshest melons in the district, Kane’s and Ciff’s Gardens bring you the rock star of melons – sweet rock melons with their netted rind and distinctive apricot coloured flesh. Passionfruit which is also plentiful at the moment, is the perfect partner for rock melon. – Cut a rockie in half and scoop out the seeds, fill the cavity with passionfruit pulp and serve with a small spoon to a very lucky person. A half an hour of pure taste bliss is guaranteed.

Winter Gardening Required

Despite the ongoing drought like conditions, it is actually time to start thinking about putting in your winter veggie crops. The white butterfly has devastated HerbsPlus’s Brassica seedlings due to them trying to be organic and not spraying! Jen’s Plants are doing better so check her out for both vegetables seedlings and flowering plants. In a few more weeks when we get a bit of rain, it will be time to pull out all the dried off vegetation, rake in some new compost and get those, silverbeets, spinach, leeks and broccoli and kales in. If you get your winter plants well established in the warmer ground in early autumn they will reward you with bigger stronger most robust plants and thus vegetables throughout the winter.

No rest for the wicked. See you at the markets!