You say tomato. . .
Saturday 11 February 2006
You have to break an egg to make an omelet but does it also follow that you have to massacre (some may say prune) the tomatoes to grow the tomatoes? This was the question I pondered as Marie Antoinette let loose her Nietzschian 'what doesn't kill 'em makes 'em tastier' approach to our ridiculously overcrowded tomato patch. Yes we did plant 24 plants in a space designed for ten but who would have thought that each plant would grow to six foot tall, not bloody me that is for sure! Admittedly I had had several opportunities to 'tame the wild beast' but after a morning 'dans le foret des tomatates' I couldn't bring myself to impose structural change. So as I watched anxiously as Marie unleashed some kind of snipping and ripping fury, all for the greater good of course, until finally I demanded 'Enough!', she insisted 'a little more', I relented and then insisted 'Enough!' to which she responded 'in a minute' and then finally I accompanied her from the patch. Of course there is more light now, of course we can now pick the fruit at the centre of the forest and while I am sure the tomatoes will heal, even flourish, I don't know whether I will recover from the episode.
In the midst of the fury we picked 2.5 kg of tomatoes (plus last weeks 1.5 make 4kg huzzah!) 1 kg of basil, 50 grams of zucchini, 150g of capsicum and 15g of sweet sweet cucumber. The most amazing thing was that we harvested 200g of the juiciest most perfect peas. My goodness, any distress that I may have felt from the great tomato prune was eclipsed by the pleasure of fresh garden peas. The little pea plants are laden with pods and adorned with delicate soon to be pea flowers.
2 small pea seedlings and 17 spinach seedlings. I also started some broccoli and Rocket seeds, as we start to consider autumn and winter crops. Where the first crop of broad beans grew now 9 potatoes contemplate their future.
The new patch of broad beans are standing proud, the new crop of scarlet runners are finding their way up their climbing frame, some with more purpose than others. The zucchinis look great but don't seem to be as proflic as last year. It doesn't look like I killed the pumpkins plant there may be hope yet and there is one mini cucumber a bit small to pick, so that will wait til next week.
The Bean Question
We think that rats or little possums have been eating our first stand of scarlet runner beans, we sprinkled mint as a deterent and as a couple of beans survived this week we are feeling a bit more confident. Tomorrow we shall cover the plants in white pepper and see what happens.
All in all not a bad day in the patch.