Saturday 10 October 2020

Peak tomato

Another Saturday after a week of Saturdays! It's 3 weeks after the equinox and nautical twilight kicks in at 19:14 local time. That's half-an-hour after sunset and when you can look through the kitchen window and exclaim "it's dark out there"; although, if you go outside, you realise there is another hour when you can see well enough to bring in the laundry or a final basket of wood for the fire. This is a prosy way of saying that Autumn, if not yet Winter, is upon us. We got our tomatoes in late, so they weren't showing any colour until September. We are now on the shoulder of Peak Tomato [L]. We're harvesting maybe 500g a day as a mix of cherries and larger, sliceable fruit. Our three Cucurbita pepo plants are still delivering maybe 1.5 courgettes a day. As any gardener who has grown this species will know, you have to be vigilant because if you're not careful a courgette will overnight turn into a marrow the size of a child's leg.  here's the score for 30 September 2o2o:
Those beans are a bit beyond their use-by, although I'd be happy to eat them shkin-an-all. if I was all sad-sack alone. But we've had Chefette Dau.II on-site for a week cookin' up a storm and those beans got a bit side-lined.  We are well beyond peak bean now and I've resolved to leave the remaining pods on the vine to desiccate in what's left of the dry days. It's a bit edgy because we are approaching peak fungus. Like a bruise, our bean pods dry out in a sequence of purple colour changes while inside the full-sized beans turn an obsidian black. In time the flubby purple pods turn into wizened beige twiglets which can be stripped off, split lengthwise so that the beans can be shucked out for winter stores. We only need 30 small but perfectly formed [Darwinian selection] beans for next year's planting. On Tuesday night, with some help from Her Chefiness, we reduced a canvas bagful of twiglets to a bowlful of black gold:
That's 500g of nourishing winter goodness. More to the point, me arty shipmates, it is a Study in Black & White that wouldn't be out of place in a corner of a domestic scene by Vermeer,

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