Saturday, February 13, 2010

Accidental Harvests

In between all the sicknesses afflicting our household, it has been a time of abundance here on our farm. A lull between the tonsillitis and the mumps had the whole family out harvesting almonds from two of our trees, resulting in a huge basket sitting on the table to be de-husked and often munched straight away, as some of the shells are soft enough to open with your fingers,

a deft twist and a tender milky fresh almond is revealed to be crunched up immediately leaving you wanting more. Even after all this we have a large bowl spilling over with almonds to keep us going on the snack front for a month or two.

We’re heading out to harvest the next two trees with a different variety later today, so more almond indulgence is on the cards.

The fig tree has also been generous this year. For the first time we have as many fresh green figs as we can eat and we have been sharing with the birds too, who leave the skins hollowed out on the tree for us to find if we have been slow to pick the ripening figs.

The tomatoes in the veggie garden have been prolific but my best accidental harvest has been the self seeded tomatoes that we discovered last week, all tangled into a wild profusion at the end of the drainage trench that takes the grey water from our showers, washing machine and basins. Some seeds must have washed down from the kitchen sink and there are three different varieties of tomato, bursting with ripeness and flavour and scattering themselves on the ground when they can no longer cling to the vines. We harvested two big bowls full last week and the small ones were like sweeties to pop into your mouth and let the sweetness burst into it.

I had great thoughts of canning and preserving them, but we managed to polish off that bowl quite easily, what with tomato and basil salads, pasta with fresh tomatoes and herbs, tomato sandwiches for school (Youngest’s favourite) and then this wonderful roasted tomato recipe… well not even a recipe really.

Roasted Tomatoes Not A Recipe
Whenever I’m baking bread I toss some small tomatoes in olive oil, sprinkle them with sea salt and put them to bake alongside the bread. Then we eat them hot or cold squished onto bread or as a filling in tortillas or any other way you can think of. I think they’d work well cooked like this to freeze in small batches. They’d also make a great pasta sauce with some fresh basil thrown in, but we ate them too quickly to find out.

So my canning experiments never happened but we have been enjoying sun-ripe tomatoes without tiring of them all week. Now we are just wondering how we can get them to seed themselves again next year, as we are planning to level the area where they are growing now and make a grassy play area.


  1. Oh Yum! What a joy to pick almonds and eat fresh tomatoes from your garden!

  2. Egads, I'm drooling on the keyboard over here... what with home-grown almonds (my favorite nut, aside from my husband, that is) and fresh tomatoes (which I would be making bruschetta with, or tomato/mozzarella/basil drizzled with olive oil, or.... GAAHHHHH!!!!).

    A bit difficult to face my frozen, snow-covered garden after this.

  3. Almonds and figs off your own trees - sounds like paradise :) and why is it that self-seeded tomatoes always taste the best?? We had a huge patch of them growing up and I rememebr racing home from school each day to see how many more were ripe enough to pick :)


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