Monday, 10 March 2014

Fruit and veg 2014

The weather this year has made it a bit of a challenge getting fruit and vegetables.  This began with a series of frosts in October which were, I believe, the reason that no apples set. (Others have similar outcomes.)  The dryness of December didn't help anything: we try to be conservative in our watering.  Then the heat seemed to reduce the enthusiasm of the tomatoes (which I find interesting as they seemed to grow OK in Dad's glasshouses in England where the temperature was often >40C).

However, assisted by the rain in late February, some of the crops are now hitting their stride.

This is a day's pick of tomatoes and trombocini (the worlds most amusing vegetable).
 I tend to pick the Red Pear tomatoes a little unripe as they seem to be attractive to some birds.  Not naming names, but I did see 6 Red-browed Finches flee the tomato area just as I found some fruit with peck marks.

They do ripen up nicely indoors.  Although not magnificent in intensity of taste they cook up nicely and make a frozen preserve which Frances uses throughout the year,
The little yellow pears tend to get eaten as 'nibbles' as well as adding a nice bit of alternative colour to the aforementioned preserves.
This image shows that there is still a lot out there.  Frances is expecting a good supply of green tomato chutney.
This is the second half of our spud crop.  Possibly it is more economic to buy them at the Fyshwick market but I find digging potatoes very satisfying.
Peppers are one family which like the heat,  I think the first two images are of chilis: I am pretty sure the second lot are Jalapenos.

 The capsicums are also doing well.
 As are the petit maron pumpkins.
 Although apples are a no-show the two pear trees have done the right thing.

The grapes are also producing, with the first bunches of white grapes picked this morning.
These white grapes are notable for a very strong scent, often described as 'foxy'.   I am sure this makes them Vitis lambrusca, a North American species as opposed to Vitis vinifera, the European grape.  I suspect they are the variety 'Niagara'.

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