Brandywine tomatoes

14 May 2007
The Brandywines are growing fast. It's incredible to think that this pair has been in for just eight weeks and the small, firm, green tomatoes are already the size of golf balls, and there are many flowers. If you don't know Brandywine tomatoes, they're an old heirloom variety, supposedly cultivated by the Amish in the 1800s. They have a superb taste, just like those old tomatoes we grew up with, before supermarkets encouraged the growth of tomatoes with cardboard skin and no taste. I am hoping to get about 25 kilos off each of these bushes, enough for a million salads and for some tomato sauce and paste preserved in jars with my trusty old Fowlers Vacola preserving unit.

Over in the earth garden we have crops of lettuce, silverbeet, cucumbers, spinach, turnips, carrots, potatoes, beans, peppers, radishes, onions, garlic, kale, peas and green beans. We've been growing vegetables for about 25 years but in the past few years we've relied on our backyard produce to keep us healthy and alive. It's a totally organic garden which is a real pleasure to work in, and when I'm gathering vegetables and fruit in the late afternoon, there isn't another place on earth I'd rather be.

That gate at the back leads to the chook house. I'll tell you about my girls one day soon.