Yes, it’s mid-year, and winter

toms from juliaHard to believe. But yes, we are on the cusp of winter – June; the middle of the year … And if you’re like me, you’ll still be eating – and ripening – tomatoes. It’s barely believable – what happened with autumn?

On the subject of tomatoes, Saide and Julia are keen to know how the garden ones performed this year, remembering that Margot gave us an array of varieties, and that some gardeners also put them in at home. How did yours go? I reckon the Yellow Pear were very productive, but not so tasty and the San Marzano, though supposed to be a drying/preserving variety, were exceptionally good (so much so I failed to save seeds). Whippersnapper and Snow Apple also tasted pretty good to me.

Be keen to hear of your tomato tastings, even though it hasn’t been a great year for them to truly shine. But it will help guide our growing next year and work out what suits Newstead climes. I’ve also got some Newstead Tomatoes ripening in the fruit bowl for seed saving (a bit nervewracking, having to be a keeper of the seed).

Autumn 2014 Newstead Community GardenSo to June. For what it’s worth, the seasonal June Notes are now posted. I suspect the cold is finally coming, and along with it let’s hope for some wet, though El Nino is looking likely. Brian Keats is predicting cold and frosts for the first part of the month, and through it.

Have fun in the June garden at any rate. Still plenty to do. Don’t forget our biochar workshop with Anthony on 22nd, the Produce Exchange on the 7th and our regular gardening dates.

Maldon Neighborhood House are running a mosiac tile making workshop at their garden on Saturday 14 June – more info here: tiles.pdf. Could be a good way to identify our plots at the garden, and yours, at home.

2 thoughts on “Yes, it’s mid-year, and winter

  1. margot brulotte says:

    Janet I cheat a bit with seed.

    I get a white styro box with a lid…Broccoli box…..then put some seed raising mix in it and let it dry out

    then put some tomatoes in it…about 10… and cover them lightly with the seed raising mix and close the lid and store them for the winter in the shed

    when I want them to grow I make a hole in the corner of the soil and fill it with water enough to make the all the soil pretty damp and wet in the bottom a bit like wicking….place the box in the glass house and hundreds come up.

    Nice quick and easy as they are generally staying here to be planted.

    What rain we have been getting is going into the ground water and not much run off.

    My big spring fed dam by the stable is lower than the end of the drought of 13 years as it gets a lot of run off from Blampied down the hill to the water falls…..not last year and not again this year.

    Mind you we took so much from the ground water that it may take 20 years to replace so that it is going into the ground water means it is not going down and into the ocean at least.

    One thing you can do it dig a bit of the soil up in the garden beds to about 2 feet and pit in a lot of sticks to make a mini hugel kulture to hold the water it does get from watering to rain the wood will soak up the rain and release it when the plants call it up.

    I am going to do that here a bit like key lines as I often get too much and then dry during the summer like the rest of us.  A lot of work but it will reduce fire risk and also make sure eventually all is compost for the place.

    Have fun in the garden

  2. Saide of Sandon says:

    Hullo Margot, The ‘mini hugel kulture’ sounds very interesting. Am wondering if you have any photographs of this structure or a visual reference, so I could have a go at making one?

    The way I have save my tomato seeds is to carefully scrape from the inside of the tomato onto a paper towel, placing a second one on top to assist the drying process. Joan Campbell tells me these paper towels, embedded with tomato seeds, can then be planted directly into the ground or a seed tray.

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