Much of East Coast Australia gives the tomato grower a pretty hard time. Fruit fly starts attacking when the weather warms up, and the humidity in summer causes mildew and mould. Planting in March and picking in August and September is the only way to survive. Unless of course you are prepared to fall in love with the much maligned cherry tomato.
The advantage of the cherry tomato is that it is reliable, hardy, fruitfly resistant, self seeding and delicious. The only thing you can possibly have against it is that it is small. That has the side effect of a high skin and seed to flesh ratio, but that’s fine for salads and preserving. It’s arguably not so great for red sauces and tomato pastes. That doesn’t matter so much when you are talking about getting fresh fruit at a time of year when that is difficult.
Tip 86 – Getting Fed Without Giving a Fig, introduces the basic permaculture principles of the food zones, grow the stuff you need near your kitchen, and grow the stuff that grows easily – local, acclimatised food. The bush regenerators are at war with the Permaculture people over the propensity for these easy to grow foods to go wild, and that can be a real problem so it has to be managed, but cherry tomatoes do not fall into that category.
The seasonal tabbouleh depicted here, is made from those cherry tomatoes, self seeded in the first compost spread by a first time gardener. The parsely and the spring onions are in season and saved from food waste, by a local food-rescue collective. I used the spring onions because locally, garlic is out of season. Instead of using burghul to extend the salad, I grabbed some rescue cauliflower and gave it a quick bash in the food processor. I made a dressing from olive oil, some kombucha that has gone to vinegar and fresh oregano. I was a bit surprised when the kombucha vinegar fizzed and popped out of the bottle I was shaking the dressing in, so I used that vinegar to start a KimChi using rescue cabbage.
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