First harvest

First harvest for the 2010/2011 planting season—a kilo of Dutch Creams and a golden zucchini—a bit on the small side to be picked, at only 230 gm, but I  wanted it for dinner. It was delicious—lightly cooked with salt & pepper and butter.

Last year I started weighing all my harvests and will do so again this year, just to compare year-on-year yields. Of course things like alpine strawberries don’t get weighed; they’re generally picked and eaten on the spot. This morning I managed to get a whole cupful to have with my breakfast mueslii. They are so much more prolific than conventional strawberries; they don’t put out runners and don’t seem to be subject to any diseases. They’re smaller, but packed with flavour, not like the tasteless supermarket giants and easy to grow from seed.

The rain this year has been phenomenal. Today we had a thunderstorm that delivered 22 mm; it was just a week ago that we had the mother and father of all storms that delivered 27 mm in only half an hour. I’ve never seen rain like that before.  Only that morning I’d spent some time deepening all the swales, so a lot of water was retained in the soil instead of running off. I’m fast becoming a bit of a swale fanatic.

The tomatoes are loving the rain, but I’m worrying about fungal diseases. I’ve been spraying the foliage with Seasol each week, assiduously picking off any suspect yellowing leaves and generally removing the lower leaves to improve air circulation around the plants. Fingers crossed! There are already small fruits forming on most of them. I’m hoping for a Big Tomato Year!

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