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Tomato Glut 2010

August 31, 2010

The last three weeks have been kind of quiet. The end of summer and the subsequent start of autumn are definitely upon us with the nights being cool, but at least there’s still some heat during the days.

The annual tomato glut is well and truly upon us, and I currently have literally hundreds of tomatoes that I’m looking for this to do with….friends and neighbours are benefiting from the glut, and so are my chickens – everyone likes a ripe, home-grown tomato! The most prolific variety (so far) has been the ‘Tumbling Tom’ plants (two of them), that I’ve had growing in hanging baskets suspended on the inside of my greenhouse; My ‘Gardeners Delight’ plants (2) are cropping heavily, too. The Italian plum tomatoes (‘Incas’) have done ok, but have suffered a bit from ‘blossom end rot’, plus they are not as juicy as I would have expected. I’m still waiting on my beefsteak (‘Faworyt’) varieties, but it looks like they will start to come on stream within the next couple of weeks – not that there’s any hurry. Last year, we didn’t have to buy a tomato between mid-June and mid-November, and I doubt this year will be any different.

Tomatoes

2010 Tomatoes

Also in the greenhouse, my cucumber plant (‘Telegraph Improved’) is still happily giving us one cucumber a week, and the one courgette I have under glass is doing likewise. The sweet (‘Antohi Romanian’ and ‘Corno di Torro Rosso’) and chilli peppers are giving us a bumper crop – with the ‘Cayenne Peppers’ being particularly spicy! As I mentioned in an earlier post, my aubergines (‘Melanzana Violetta di Firenze’) were a disaster and have long since been pulled out and added to my compost bins.

Elsewhere, in the vegetable patch, I have picked a job lot of beetroot (‘Sanguina’), and still have plenty to pick. Same with (my now very large) ‘Beacon’ onions. My two varieties of leek (‘Lyon Prizetaker’ & ‘Monstruoso Di Carentan’) are coming on nicely as are the cauliflowers (‘Winter Roscoff’), and the main crop spuds are waiting to be dug. The broccoli (‘Iron Man’) is almost finished, however.

My pumpkins (‘Hundred Weight’) went in too late this year, and I don’t think they will crop – they really need to be out before the end of June, and I was a month later than that – mainly because I had to wait until first and second early spuds had been dug before I had space to plant them. In that vein, I’ve decided to dig out all my raspberry canes over the winter and replace them with another two raised beds – as a family we definitely will get more out of the beds than soft fruit, added to which our conditions just not suitable for a good raspberry crop.

I’ve just about managed to sell all of my excess chicks. I’ve had buyers for five Red Sussex, two Light Sussex, and two black Pekins. All I have – at least that I’m trying to move on – are three black Pekin cockerels, who are free to good homes! Unsurprisingly, hens of all descriptions are in great demand, and I could have sold my stock of young hens twice over; it the boys that are the problem, especially the bantams as they have no real use other than for breeding; at least you can fatten up the cockerels of the larger birds for eating…! Anyhow, what I hope should be left with, when all is done, are the following 13 birds:A quad of Red Sussex

  • A duo of Light Sussex
  • Two hybrid layers (Goldlines)
  • Four Pekins (two cockerels and two hens)
  • A Pekin-Goldline cross hen.
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