The girls of summer

Summer rocks my socks! Last night an incredible deluge of rain followed a cracking good thunderstorm, during which I made ratatouille for 11 people at work almost entirely from veg from our garden!

One of our favourite summer things to do is to let the chickens out for a scratch around the garden, pick some veg for our dinner and enjoy a beer on the patio. Tonight, after work, in my suit, I sauntered out to the garden to check up on the girls and I noticed there were quite a few more toms ripe for the picking. Well.. an entire basket .. FULL to my delight. In fact, I was so distracted by the tomato harvest that I somehow stepped in dog and chicken poo at pretty much the same time, and we don’t even own a dog! Way to punt the cherry off my sundae guys!

I also noticed a few other things going on around the garden:

An unknown animal has decided to munch on one of our pumpkins (and quite a few tomatoes), so we will have to perhaps try to deter a possum or plant some rat bait, depending on whomever is the culprit. We have also tried an experiment with our tomatoes, trying to force their ripening by putting them in a zip-lock bag with a banana- and it worked! But even still, we’d rather they ripen on the vine! Since our tomatoes have been going gang busters, we have either made them into a delicious roasted tomato pasta sauce, or ate them raw in salads with a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. However, I recently noticed something quite peculiar when I bought some tomatoes to work to give to a friend who is also a qualified chef. She said thanks and asked me “What type are the tomatoes… Are they ‘Truss’ tomatoes?? I started thinking about the apathetic supermarket veg section which has sometimes two varieties of tomatoes- a disgusting hybrid tasteless variety they oft call ‘gourmet’ tomato (sometimes sold for twice the price with the truss/twig still attached) and roma tomatoes, both tasting like garbage. This makes us feel a little sad for consumers who don’t know what kind of yummy amazing heirloom non-hybridized tomato varieties are out there!! This summer we are growing around 8-10 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, not including the random ones that have sprouted from last years seeds, and each are tastier than the next! So we highly recommend that you get out there and try to grow some old-fashioned varieties like Zebra, Tigerella, Amish Paste, Black Krim, and see for yourself how delicious tomatoes can be!

Not only are our tomatoes going great guns, so are our girls! Our chickens recently had a holiday, during which time we went to New Zealand. No, not with the chickens. But they came back with more feathers and a penchant to scratch up any green patch they could find. However within days of our return, we found ourselves with two escapees and again had to re-fortify the chicken pen.
It won’t be long until we change their run to the side of the house, to provide them with a new area to peck around, and also some protection from the whipping autumn/winter winds.

Summer has also provided us with some new skills and inspiration, since we constructed our side fence (see pics above). We’re pretty proud of it since we’ve had no previous fence-building experience but since completing it, our next step will probably be world domination with mad skillz like that! We are looking forward to the culmination of our ‘catch crops’ of cabbage, kohlrabi, tomatillos, beans, spinach and silverbeet that we planted around the same time as the tomatoes.

Hope your summer has been a rad one & get planting for autumn!!