When we first moved in, it was a demanding race of time and energy towards renovations to make the house more liveable and planting our first crops to be ready in time for summer.
With a heap of wonderful organic tomato seeds that we had collected and prepared, Stace busily went about planting them in pots in his greenhouse. And before we knew it we had a plethora of seedlings demanding daily watering and attention. With Stacy in Melbourne most days, I took this on alone. A single parent to my many tomato babies.
My mornings were filled with the careful tending of over 40 tomato plants. Hand watering them and all of our other thirsty plants was a time-consuming labour of love.
Suddenly our Solanaceae babies were getting cramped feet as they outgrew their pots. Stace prepared a spot for them all – an enclosed veggie patch that we discovered under long grass and weeds and our new kids got a secure, new home.
For months my early mornings were spent in the Tomato Patch, trying to keep them all alive as the weather grew increasingly drier and unforgiving to young plants. I watched the plants produce a heap of green fruit and then stall in ripening. Willing them to ripen, I watched eagerly as the first couple began to turn a reddish hue…
I tended, watered, nourished, talked to, encouraged, coaxed, fertilised, watered again…and now the fruits of my labour, the plethora of tomatoes are finally bearing lots of juicy, ripe fruit. Fat and juicy cherry tomatoes, San Marzanos, Thai Pink Eggs (yes, they are a hot pink colour!), Grosse Lisse, Green Zebras and Romas all ripe for the picking. The trick now though, is to beat the Magpies and Noisy Miners from getting to them first!
I have a glut of tomatoes. And now I’m enjoying the many things you can do with them! Passatas, Chutneys, Tomato stews, Pasta sauces, bottled, dried or frozen – we’ll be enjoying these gorgeous fruits in their many forms for months to come! And all of that time and effort was well worth it.