Tuesday, 3 March 2009


March here at Heathfield is the time our tomatoes finally reach their peak. It may be a long wait for some but its how our season goes. The seeds are planted with under heat in the polly house in August, transplanted into the garden in October, start to ripen mid January but reach their best by the end of February –beginning of March. This year has been a good season and the flavour is exceptional. Despite all the gardening advice ,I grow the tomatoes I raise from seed in the same bed every year – well for the last 5 in their current bed. They are watered via drip once a week. The bed is prepared each September when winter crop allocated to the bed is finished by digging in my biodynamic compost. The whole vegie garden receives applications of biodynamic 500, Firstly tomorrow as it has rained 36.5mm today so far (First since I can’t remember , maybe October last year.) then again in April, September and December. Over the early growing season it also receives some ccp & nettle spray I make.
Varieties I grew
San Marzano 2, Cuor di Bue- Franchi seed
Principe Borghese originally Franchi seed, now 2nd generation Nirvana saved.
Beefsteak- came up as a self-sown in 2000 has been saved each generation since then.
Franco’s- seeds from Franco’s family tomato brought from Italy many moons ago. Now 3rd generation saved here.
Joy's Dad's Yellow this was the only brought in seedling from Hills & Pains Seedsavers meeting it was grown in a separate bed.

The other major harvest that goes with the tomatoes at this time is the basil which means plenty of pesto using our own garlic and walnuts along with Franco’s Heathfield olive oil. You can’t get more local than that and the taste, just magic.

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