Summer Crops

Argh no time no time, things need to go in, weeds need to come out… but at least some of the early summer crops are coming along well & now ready to harvest! Broad beans, climbing French beans and outdoor chard are joining the herbs such as dill (pictured), parsley, basil and savoury; salad bags and beetroot bunches from the tunnels; and courgettes should be ready next week after this lovely rain, hurrah!


Tomato Trial Results

Since the tomatoes are really peaking now, it’s interesting to compare how the trial varieties are performing. While it’s been a good year for tomatoes (touch wood), and all varieties have been producing pretty well, I’ve tried out some varieties that I’ll not grow again next year, and found some new ones that I will. Here are some thoughts so far…

ChocolateCherryChocolate Cherry

Productive, sweet small cherry fruits, with a great dark purpley colour





Bright yellow cherry tomato, pretty but not very prolific, holds well



Gardener’s Delight

GardenersDelightTried & trusted red cherry tomato, very productive, fast-growing, long-lasting and great taste




Golden Queen

GoldenQueenReliable and prolific medium bright yellow tomato, need picking regularly to prevent splitting




Jen’s Tangerine

JensTangerineMedium dark yellow tomato, fairly prolific; but duller colour than Golden Queen can make fruit look over-ripe




EStupicearly medium red tomato with green/yellow shoulders; these shoulders remain even when ripe and stay hard, and can make fruit look under-ripe




TigerellaStripey orange/red or green/red tomato, small to medium sized; very productive and consistent; this year’s crop does have some white/brown dotting on the skin (could be a soil issue)


Gorge-ous Veg

Some people grow veg varieties just for decoration, and I’m beginning to partly understand why (I still can’t quite get my head around not eating it though). I have a thing about purple and green: these complimentary colours are just awesome, and you can get almost all veg in purple shades – many of which I’m growing: carrots (tick), French beans (tick), cauliflowers (tick – pictured is a spring variety called Purple Cape), purple sprouting broccoli (tick), rainbow chard (tick, popular among gardeners) tomatoes (well, ‘black’ tomatoes, and purple tomatillos, tick)…

Seeing as we eat partly with our eyes (I wish my eyes did all of my eating, it would make chocolate fountain parties much more fun), interesting colours and textures are essential, and shouldn’t be a luxury – we’ve been lumbered with such boring-looking food in the past in the mainstream, we’ve forgotten that half the fun is eating something pretty. Maybe this is being revived now though, with the popularity of dainty cupcakes and sexy swirls of jus, vinegars and pestos on our plates when eating out; but the bulk of our food, where we get our nutrition from, can also be as enticing. The fractal swirls of romanesco caulis and the unique pattern on borlotti beans can be food for the mind and imagination as well as for the body.