Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Christmas Tomatoes
The Colours of Christmas

Part of our history, a wonderful cultural tradition, Sydney home gardeners have for decades striven to produce their first ripe tomatoes, ready for the Christmas dining table. Tomatoes are the colours of Christmas. They are the taste of Christmas.

A tradition under threat!

Ripening Rouge de Marmande Tomatoes
Sydney's current unsustainable development threatens the cultural tradition of the backyard garden. The headlong rush to create massive high-rise developments in urban 'hubs' with the concurrent need for major road and rail infrastructure projects comes at a human cost. The more we price young families out of the housing market, the more we force people into high-rise housing developments and the more we promote the sub-division of traditional blocks of land by building 'granny flats', the greater the likelihood that we will lose an important cultural tradition... The words, 'sustainable development' are rarely uttered by our leaders.

Five home-grown varieties
It has been a good year for tomatoes at this address. The fruit is abundant and well-coloured and the dreaded fruit fly has not arrived in large numbers... touch wood! We have protected our crop with a Cera Trap. However, it has not trapped a single fruit fly to this time.

Tomatoes are not an easy crop: you cannot simply plant and wait. They require regular watering, plenty of mulching and fertilising, protection from the dreaded 'fly' and in wetter years you need to beware of fungal problems. However don't let this deter you: a home-grown tomato is worth two from the shop!
Mini Tiny Tim tomatoes contrast with a single Sweet Bite 

Our favourite variety is Rouge de Marmande which is an early ripening large variety. However, we also grow Beefsteak and a low-acid yellow variety. Our miniature tomatoes include Tiny Tim, Sweet Delight and Sweet Bite.

I would encourage everyone to continue a wonderful Australian tradition and grow your own tomatoes. 

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