We came back from our summer holiday this year to a bumper crop of green tomatoes.

Obviously I was aiming for red tomatoes.  Some of you may remember that I was trying to grow enough tomatoes to make and bottle a lot of pasta sauce.  It was not to be….

I planted three types of tomato seeds in the greenhouse, quite late in May, with the aim of raising the plants inside:  our favourite Black Russian, a Texas variety and Tumbling Tom.  So many of them grew that I planted most of them out into the vegetable garden, where they did very well with lots of fruit. 

I gather that the dull summer weather this year has meant that airborne blight appeared early for nearly everyone, including me.  When I went away in mid August the fruit was fine, but on return ten days later I could see the beginnings of browning fruit and stems. 

There isn’t much that stops blight once it gets going, so I stripped off almost all the fruit and cooked the majority of the green tomatoes in the oven before freezing.  Last year I discovered that green tomatoes are a good replacement for green capsicum, so I’ll be putting this year’s crop into curries and stir fries over winter.

My indoor tomatoes have been fine, but not particularly prolific.  I got the hang of cordoning last year, but probably didn’t give them enough water or feed this season.  Sheer laziness, I’m afraid.  Next year I will be cutting off lower leafy growth more aggressively, as I noticed that commercial growers do this to good effect.   

In other news, the French beans and courgettes are both cropping heavily now.  I was very slow to plant courgettes, so they only started cropping at the end of August.  We’re eating them every day and will have plenty for the freezer from three plants.  Peas have been a wash-out and I failed to get many fennel seedlings.  However, I’m particularly pleased with my parsnips – a story for another day!

Text and Images (C) Claire @theslowfix A slow food devotee, Claire is constantly searching for new ways to enable us all to live sustainably.

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