Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

Harvest Monday, April 2019

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. For the background behind Monday harvests, please visit the Our Happy Acres blog.

cherry tomatoes:
Cherry Tomatoes 2019

We had hot weather, then some cool, and then the first weekend in April was another warm one. APril in Autumn. I’m happy that my cherry tomatoes are still producing, but I just don’t have time to harvest them as they ripen right now (so busy!), so some are rotting on the vine or being eaten by snails. Oh dear. I got the plant via a crop swap.

I also am not eating them as fast as I am producing them. So I made oven dehydrated tomatoes:

Dehydrated tomatoes 2019

I haven’t yet decided if I should keep them whole, but I am leaning towards the idea of blitzing them into a powder. Then I can add a sprinkle of them whenever I need a hit of intense tomato flavour.



This is a little on the small side, but I am partial to a small apple. This is from a ballerina columnar apple tree, either Waltz or Bolero. Waltz I think. These trees have done *so* much better since I dug them out of the heavy clay soil (shaded by banana palms) in spring 2018 and put them into pots facing the full western afternoon sun.

I have also harvested another warre box of honey/honeycomb from my first beehive. No photo, sorry. That’s about 36kg from that hive this season.

So dear reader, what have you harvested this autumn?

Harvest Monday, February 2019

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. For the background behind Monday harvests, please visit the Our Happy Acres blog.

Snakebeans and cherry tomatoes:
Snake beans, Cherry tomatoes

The snakebeans have been described as “cute”.

Bunya pine nuts:
Bunya Pine nuts

You know those pine nuts that you buy from the shop for about 90AUD per kilo? Well these are a giant version of these.

I didn’t grow them, I foraged them. The pine cones of Araucaria bidwillii can be the size of a football or larger, and I collected about 4.5 pine cones – approx weight 5kg. I then reduced this to 1.5kg worth of viable pods, and stripping out the outer layer, reduced it again to about 1kg of actual nut. Last year I only got about 4 viable nuts per bunya nut cone, this year it’s been about 15 per cone. These will be frozen for storage, and then turned into pesto or added to soups for bulk. Others have turned their harvest into a “milk”, or roasted for extra yumminess. Usually the bunya pine fruits every 3 years.


Not grown, swapped. The other swapper was happy to give them away for free, but I didn’t feel that was fair. So I swapped four of my snakebeans and a small amount of honey. Once the other swapper saw the honey, she gave me some extra silveebeet and a ‘bottle gourd’ sample to try. I’m supposed to cook it like zucchini. I still feel like I came away with the better part of that deal.

So dear reader, what have you harvested this summer?

Harvest Monday, January 2019

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. For the January 2019 host of Monday harvests, please visit the From Seed to Table blog.

This sounds daft, but summer has been hot, hot, hot. We had a week of 35 deg C + temperatures, and not only that, but 15 of the hottest places were in Australia last week. So for that week, I got up stupid early to water the garden and hang up gauze cloth coverings over the most vulnerable plants.

Cherry Tomatoes:
Cherry tomatoes

I think I got the plant via a crop swap. My neighbour dislikes cherry tomatoes, too fiddly for her, but I like seeing these little jewels glowing amongst the greenery. This garden bed now has a Olla embedded within it, and the plants are looking really lush. I am filling this Olla about once every two days. Yes, I got the Olla via a swap.

Snake Beans
Snake beans

I planted some snake bean seeds, one germinated, and then I planted this seeding out. I went away, came back three weeks later, what is this plant? It’s snake beans! First time growing them, it’s amazing the growth that the beans can put on overnight. the vine itself is growing over the shadecloth framework.


I bought these seedlings, didn’t realise it, but it looks like the beetroot itself is a striped variety. This got turned into a Sri Lankan beetroot curry, along with some leftover pumpkin from last years’ harvest and some curry leaves fresh from the garden.

Sri Lankan beetroot curry

It was quite an unusual curry to my palate – I haven’t really used fresh curry leaves before, but they do give an interesting taste to any dish.

Beatbox hive honey harvest

Harvested from the batbox hive. These ladies are on the cranky side, so as soon as we lifted the quilt off, the noise level “went up”. I think I’m going to have to put the callout for somebody to take over this slightly hot hive, because I cannot cope with having to hide in the house for the remainder of the weekend/week, just because I played with the bees on one day.

This crate is approximately 12kg worth of honey. I harvested 12kg in December 2018, and about 1kg in November (one frame: the reason why there is one bright white coloured frame in this box). That makes 25 kg this season.

Beeswax harvest is a little harder to calculate, as I have a big 20L bucket which contains (still) honeycomb waste from last season, as well as being topped up with honeycomb waste from this season. One advantage of this hot weather is having my solar wax extractor working perfectly.

So dear reader, what have you harvested this summer?

Harvest Monday, April 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related.

From my crops, you would be thinking that I’m coming out of winter, going into spring. Nope, I’ve just been such a lazy gardener, I haven’t actually harvested crops from last winter. Why the sudden rush to harvest (probably woody) crops? Because if I don’t get the garlic in the ground LIKE NOW, then I won’t get a good crop.

Last year I got out as many cloves of garlic as I planted. Sad.


Poor things. My hard rocky ground (clay) meant that they grew up and out and sideways and all twisted. I think that this helps break up the clay, right?



I planted about 5 seedlings, obtained via a crop swap. I have one daikon survive, and it’s about the size of a carrot. Hmm. The force is not strong with this one.

One spear asparagus.

Blue jasper tomatoes. Nearly the last of the season.


Still going. Every day is a surprise. I can see how you get ‘volunteers’ the following year, as I was getting little cucamelons dropping onto the ground that took me a while to spot. A cucamelon vine is not for one season, I think it’s for life.


Honey Bucket

This is almost old news. I harvested yet another two boxes off of a warre hive. This was from the third hive (Lilli pilli hive), the most recent swarm cast – pretty sure from one of the other two hives in the yard. That makes five boxes (60kg approx) of honey in the last month, 72 kg in the current season. About five combs were chopped up to make 30 boxes of honeycomb. The bucket of honey shown above is pressed out of the other 11 frames. I think I need to downsize my apiary.


Australia has just been rocked by a rockmelon scandal, where five people have died and nineteen people have been made sick. Lucky I grew my own teeny tiny rockmelon. About the size of an orange. 160g. I think the seedling/vine (obtained via crop swap) was planted a bit too late in the season, south facing, and competing with an adjoining cucamelon vine.


I told you last month about looking after the neighbour’s fig tree because they can’t be bothered (or they don’t realise that real food grows on trees) . So this morning, when I was putting on extra fruit fly exclusion bags/netting around the figs… I collected one fig. Sweet sweet nectar.

So dear reader, what have you grown or harvested this month?

May in the Garden, 2015

2015 edition.


Share from Pixlr

1 x Luffa or Sing gua.
Before cooking it, you peel the ridges/(sometimes the skin…depending how big it is), and then cutting into chunky triangular pieces. I normally have it stir fried. This one was DELICIOUS.

May harvest, 2015

Late summer/autumn tomatoes. Moving the garden bed to a sunnier spot has definitely been a winner; Heaps of cherry tomatoes in summer, and a late flush of big tomatoes (sorry – I’m not sure which variety they are) in late autumn.


1 x bolero (it was a bit mushy by the time I got around to eating it).
2 x waltz. They smell super apple-y, like apples on steriods.

Basil, thyme, kaffir lime leaf, vietnamese mint.

Planted & Achieved:

I bagged the guava fruits which are developing, with as many bags as I have which are not allocated already to my tomatoes. Already we’ve eaten about twenty.

Dug out some of the sweet potato (no wonder its so cheap – it develops tubers like a rabbit breeds). Planted snow peas and silverbeet in its place.

Transplanted some parsley seedlings that had started grow in the lawn, moved them to a garden bed.

Planted a luffa seed and a pumpkin seed (I suspect Jap pumpkin), in the sunny garden bed where my biggest crop of tomatoes has been.

Can you see my Punkin?


Planted some broccoli seedlings. It’s a battle between the broccoli and the snails/slugs. So far its even-stevens, although the snails penchant for beer is not good for their health.

What does the garden look like?

Banana plant is now about 3m high. Unfortunately this, plus the mad daisy bush is now blocking sunlight/frost potential to the apples.
I should not have planted the apples next to the banana. It’s supposed to be a *dwarf*

We’ve already had our first night with below 7 degree C temperatures. The cherry tree is losing its leaves.

Winter is Coming

What’s next:

Move the finger lime to a pot. It’s not getting enough sun.
Plant the frangipani branch already.

Fruit Fly Exclusion

So sick of my tomatoes ending up with little grubby worms (fruit fly), I bought some fruit fly exclusion bags. I have tried plastic bags over bunches of grapes before, but they ended up moulding inside the bag, and the rats got to them anyway.

To try out the theory, I bought two organza “wedding bonbonniere” type things from Spotlight. These were $2.90 for two of 16cm x 11cm; or $10 for 10 of 16cm by 11cm.

Yes, I know, I am late in the season, but my tomatoes are still going!

These were a little small for my giant compost-derived tomatoes, who ended up bursting their bags, but they did their job. Not only did it stop the fruit fly from landing and stinging the fruit, it captured the little larvae worms – they couldn’t drop down into the soil and pupate into more fruit fly. *It stopped the cycle*.


So I ended up getting some more from ebay. Including shipping, it cost me $18.20 for 20 bags of 20cm by 30cm. You can put whole branches in the bag, rather than one fruit.

Fruit exclusion bags

The first thing I noticed was the drawstring was made of a skinny string that was tough on the fingers to use. You need to make sure the bag opening is tight and doesn’t allow the fruit fly in, but also that the material is loose around the fruit and the fruit fly can’t land on the bag and sting your fruit through it.

I much prefer to use the organza bags – you pull the ribbon on either side, and it cinches it up a treat. I may end up replacing the string in the other bags with a ribbon.