All the companion planting of sweet basil, rocket and marigolds resulted in no visible pest damage on any of my tomato plants. The rocket got a little pock-marked (small holes eaten in the leaves), the basil seems fine, the marigolds are flowering wildly and the enclosed shadecloth veggie house kept the rest of the pests at bay.
Unfortunately, the potato which made a surprise appearance in the veggie hut, and which I (stupidly and stubbornly) left in situ, turned the closest tomato plant black - very nasty. So - what they say is correct. Tomatoes and potatoes are not good companions... :)
|Just some of the tomatoes I harvested in the|
20lt cooler box. The green ones were were
accidentally knocked off their vines - ah, well,
they'll ripen nicely on the kitchen windowsill :)
Firts off though, RMan and I had an Aubergine Parmesan on Saturday evening. It's really simple to make.
All you need is a ripe aubergine, some tomatoes, a few basil leaves and some grated Parmesan cheese. Simply slice the aubergine length ways (stalk to tip) making roughly 4 - 6 slices (depending on how large your aubergine is) and sprinkle with salt to draw out the bitterness. Set aside whilst you prepare the tomatoes.
Wash and cut up some tomatoes. Place them, together with a tablespoon of water, in a pan on the stove to cook, adding some salt, freshly ground black pepper and chopped basil towards the end. As soon as the tomato juice has reduced right down, remove the pan from the stove. (You can also do this step in your solar oven - just omit the water.)
|Tomato and basil mixture|
|Aubergine + reduced tomatoes and|
basil + grated Parmesan
This last Tuesday I spent preserving the tomatoes which I had brought back from the farm.
|Using the solar oven to preserve|
whole cocktail tomatoes for winter
|Whole solar preserved tomatoes and tomato soup|
|Solar dried whole tomatoes|
|Two layers this time...|
|Tomatoes cooking in the solar oven prior to|
being placed (in portions) in the freezer
I can't wait :)
Finally, I want to share a tip I discovered (by accident) for supporting tomatoes. I have nylon string supports attached to the upper "roof" and "side wall" wooden cross beams. Tying that nylon to the base of the plant to anchor it, all I did was very gently and carefully "twist" (wrap / entwine) the pliable top of the plant round the nylon string. It could easily be achieved in your tomato garden if you "planted" two sturdy upright poles with a cross bar fixed to the top, and "strings" which hang down towards your tomato plants.
|Tomato plant twisted round the|
string for support