Saturday, September 27, 2008

The tomato trials

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Luis here:
Earlier this Summer, we decided to grow various varieties of tomatoes to see which one performed better in the Asturian climate. The main problem with the climate when growing tomatoes is the high humidity levels and sea mist that result in the blight. We planted 4 different types, two named (royal chico and siletz) together with two generic types, one bought locally and the other bought in Castilla. Home grown tomatoes are really worth the effort because of the superior taste when compared with comercially grown ones that are as far removed from organic as they can be.
The results of the Asturian jury in terms of the tomato trials are as follows: all four varieties succumbed to the blight. It was the siletz variety that was slightly more resistant but it lacked taste and texture. Next year we shall try further varieties and hope to have a little more success. It is a good job that my sister Rita has a glut of toms with 130 plants, at least we got some supplies to make tomato sauce and pisto -a tomato based sauce made with peppers, marrow, pumpkin, onion, aubergine and garlic.
Other than the disappointing results from the tomatoes, the vegetable and fruit garden have produced an abundance of crops throughtout Summer and will continue to do so well into Winter. This week I sowed carrots, turnips and salad leaves. 
The weather remains very pleasant with days turning sunny and warm with plenty of sunshine but usually after early morning mist and heavy dew.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy......

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The past few weeks have been really busy with visitors Sue, Sam and Lucy May, harvesting, injuries, jobs around the plot and avoiding the summer madness in town. We had a good time when Sue et al came over for 5 days at the end of August. The weather was reasonable but a little too much seaweed to make swimming in the sea an option - although we did manage a knee deep paddle. Earlier storms had decorated the normally golden beaches, with deep red seaweed that formed meter high mounds - most unusual for the time of year.

Harvest time has arrived again with the vegetable garden producing many crops that all need processing and/or eating. We have been busy making Jam (from foraged blackberries and windfall apples), Chutney (various types) Piccalilli, Tomato Frito and Pisto (tomato, marrow, onion, pumpkin, aubergine and peppers). It is good to see the shelves full again and nice to know that we have supplies that will last us well into next year.

Luis went to his Sister's for a week and I stayed behind to l.ook after the cats and the garden. All went well until I took a walk along the camino with Indiana Jones and Lara Croft (you know who you are!!!). I slipped when pole vaulting a wall and badly sprained my ankle - oouch! Healing well and begining to weight bear. Asturias and town have been very busy and buzzing over August (the main holiday season here) and it is good to see it reverting to its quieter and tranquil hum. Luis will report on the tomato trials in a later post in the mean time a few photos for you include scenes from a local fiesta and street market.