I have made the decision, which is a tough one for me each year, when have I made enough and when should I stop preserving. I have reached my goal for each of the tomato products, the 3 chutneys and the Pasta Sauce and despite still having great quality tomatoes off and on the vines I have drawn a line in the sand. I am sure that every preserver has the same dilemma. It ends up being a decison of head over heart, not my strong point, keep making my preserves past what I think I can sell and using up hard earned capital or say enough is enough.
So the best of the surplus tomatoes and any new harvest will go to friends or neighbours and down to our local Binda Store to be given away to the locals or visitors who would like them. During the apple season every trip to the local store ends with bringing home a big bag of free local apples from a backyard tree, which are just superb. I have made many a jar of apple sauce from these wonderful apples. So I will return the favour with my tomato surplus.
Every year we struggle with the decision of when to clear out the tomatoes beds and start to plant the winter crops or green manure. It just seems wrong to take out plants with so many green tomatoes and just throw them away but I only once found a home for my green tomatoes. A local chap made his green tomato relish and was just so happy to take them off my hands. Might see if I can find that fellow again this year because there will be a lot.
Now the focus is on the new Beetroot and Chilli crops. Despite the rain and surprisingly cool summer / autumn the beetroots are thriving and another good harvest will come through this week. The long awaited ripening of the chillis is slowly happening but the cold weather is definitely not helping speed this along.
However in anticipation of that wonderful event the covering of the beds has begun, because there is just nothing that a Currawong likes more than a lovely big meal of red hot chillis. Well so it seemed last year, when times were tough for all the native birds. We are not going to take the chance this year and the bird netting is in progress. Temporarily suspended due to the inclement weather but later in the week there is hope of some sunny skies so we all look forward to that.