Tuesday, May 20, 2014

the very last of the tomatoes

IMG_9503 IMG_9523It's funny in life that so often you don't know that something was the last until it is over. The last time your child wears something before they grow out of it, the last time you take a photo of your baby with all her baby teeth, the last time you hug someone you love before they leave, the last time you hang your washing on the line outside before the days become too cold…

Mostly food gardening is a bit like that for me. We spend much of summer and autumn enjoying bountiful basil. Plucking those leaves and eating them on and in almost every dish we create. And then one morning the frost hits it and it's over. Burnt. And that's it for another year. It's the same with so many crops, from plentiful to finished over night.

One season passes, another begins.

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This week we pulled the very last of the tomato vines out of the garden and let the chickens into the poly tunnels to clean up the scraps. We collected every last red tomato and brought them inside, we picked crates of green fruit for the chooks, we made piles of green leaves and vines for the compost and we stashed the stakes for the next year.

Then we forked each bed to aerate them, we sprinkled rock minerals, we filled them up with compost and then we planted garlic and kale and other wintry, new season's veg.

IMG_9517 IMG_9488 For some reason this week I got to choose for the tomato season to be over. It had slowed right down but I could have probably gotten another bowl or two from the poly tunnels over the next week or so. But it feels like the time is right. The chicks needed the space to explore, the vines are getting all mushy and disgusting from rotting fruit, we need the space for the new season and the days are getting shorter and I'm running out of time to pick.

So this season, perhaps for the first time ever, I do know that I have just picked my last crate of tomatoes. I think I'll oven dry a couple of trays, eat as many as we can in sandwiches and salads and do one more batch in Fowlers jars. It's a strange feeling and I almost feel like I'm cheating mother nature, but I can tell you that late season's tomatoes never tasted so good. I am enjoying every single one like it's my last - because it is almost my last.

Happy season of green, southern peeps, and for those of you up north, enjoy your bounty.

Big love x


  1. These tomatoes look so yummy! We hardly ever have some at home because my boyfriend is allergic to them (SIGHS)!

    Take care

  2. They look pretty good to me to eat.....nice to have a freshly planted crop. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  3. I must say you take the most beautiful photos x

  4. How lovely that you can appreciate the last of your tasty tomatoes. When you mentioned the last time you could hang your washing outside before it gets too cold, it reminded me of when we lived down your way when I was a kid. Mum and I would come in from the clothes line absolutely freezing with icy fingers from the howling wind, then hang the washing in front of the fire to air. It never really gets cold enough to stop hanging the washing in winter here in Brisbane, but it certainly gets too hot in the summer!

  5. You grow awesome tomatoes Kate. Your whole vegetable garden is beautiful...love that autumn colour and your photos xx

  6. rock minerals sound cool - i'll have to look into those for my new veggie garden, flick x

  7. Love your veggie boxes. Love the cubby, gorgeous colours on the roof. And lovely words Kate. Enjoy your last tomatoes. I'm jealous. xxoo

  8. I keep waiting for our roses to have their last blooms for the season, but with this weather we are still getting the most amazing blooms. It's a smelly good thing!

  9. I wish you a happy harvest time! Enjoy it!! Jutta xxx

  10. Sometimes being in control is just the ticket!!
    Enjoy those last tomatoes Kate - we left Tassie before ours were fully into their swing this year...next season!!

  11. This post resonates deeply with me. I often think about this, the last of anything just kind of sneaking up. I remember Michelle (Hugo and Elsa) writing last year of a similar thing with the last swim of the season sneaking up on you. You never knew it was the last one...it just was. I was determined to not let it be so this year. My last swim of the season has been designated for weeks before as the first weekend of winter. It's ok if there are still more after, but that first weekend, she'll be my last official one. Like your tomatoes, every drop will be enjoyed.

  12. mmmm, enjoy! we didn't put in nearly enough tomatoes this year, and we missed them, a lot! x

  13. What a fantastic harvest and thank you for sharing such richly hued photographs. The autumnal colours are so pretty.

  14. Your raised garden beds are beautiful my husband wants to know what type of timber they are made with, he thinks treated pine.

    1. Thanks you! We bought the old potato boxes off a certified organic farmer three or four years ago. I can't actually remember what type of wood he said they were made from but I do know that treated pine isn't allowed in organics so not that.

  15. Oh my goodness! I LOVE your garden!


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Kate XX

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