Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tomatoes and Peppers

In true Tasmanian style, many of our tomato seedlings are ready just in time for Show Day, and there a more varieties still to come over the next few weeks.....with snow forecast tomorrow perhaps they know more than I do!

Due to an erratic season, a few varieties are in short supply, so be early or please leave a comment below to reserve any you'd like.

So here's what you'll find at Farm Gate this Sunday:

Deutsche Fleiss German heirloom, easily grown, high yielding variety. Red, 3-5cm fruit that look deceptively like a supermarket tomato but are one of the tastiest salad tomatoes I’ve grown. Fruit are firm and store well. Staking variety, but tends to grow low and bushy.

Jaune Flamme A French heirloom with small, opaque, orange fruit. Unique dense texture and rich flavour. Staking variety. 

Tasmanian Yellow Yellow, beefsteak type, medium/large fruit. Sweet, meaty fruit. Climbing variety.

Debaro Medium sized, red, egg shaped fruit with smooth skin, to 6cm across. Great flavoured salad tomato. Productive.

Leicester Jones Tassie bred by a naturopath, perfect for our conditions. Large, pink, ridged fruit.
Leicester Jones
Camp Joy Hardy, productive, large cherry type tomato. Beautiful flavour. Climbing variety.


Lemon Drop Cherry tomato that produces masses of tiny, yellow fruit. Holds fruit until late in the season, pull spent plants and hang in a dry place for continued harvest.

Harbinger English heirloom, produces well in cool weather and for a long period, green fruit is said to ripen well off of the bush, we pull plant at the end of the season and hang in the wood shed. This year we picked from the spent vines until . Medium sized, red fruit. Staking variety.

Tigerella Gorgeous green-red tomato with orange stripes. Reliable and productive. Small to medium fruit, tangy, firm flesh and incredibly tasty. Staking.

Pineapple Stripes Inspired to grow this one by one of my favourite instagrammers, Tucker Taylor. Said to be a hardy plant and a great producer of heavy, rich flavoured, yellow fruit with red stripes inside.

Black Cherry

Black Cherry Cherry tomato with dark purplish fruit to 3 cm across, produced in trusses on tall vigorous bush. Sweet, juicy flesh with a rich flavour. Reliable with high yields. Really delicious!!

Moldovan Green We've grown this one on the recommendation of our friend Pauline and she knows food! A beefsteak type that ripens to green with pale areas, said to have 'tropical' flavours. Perhaps Pauline can tell us more?

I'll be sorting through my tomato trays and hope to add a few more to the list before Sunday. Other varieties to come, either this week or over the next few include Tommy Toe, Wapsipinnicon Peach, Black Krim, Brandywine, Roma, George, Green Grape, Reisentraube and Stupice.

And Peppers! Again these are only the first of our varieties and some are in short supply. Look for more varieties in the coming weeks, and remember there's no hurry! Last year I was still picking the deliciously addictive Padron from an outdoor garden at Neika long after our tomatoes and zucchini had succumbed to frost.
Alma Paprika, unripe fruit and flower.
Plant them into good, rich soil and remove the first few flowers to encourage the plant to put some energy into growing before it begins fruiting. All varieties can be harvested green or red, and, if protected from frost, your plants will continue fruiting well into winter. Our pantry is well stocked with little jars of dried chillies and bottles of chilli plum sauce, and the odd jar of pickled peppers is still lurking in the fridge. The most precious one for me is our paprika. When dried it forms luminous, dark red flakes and smells sweet, rich and complex.

Padron Spanish frying pepper. Mild with the occasional hot fruit giving them the nickname of 'Russian Roulette Pepper'. Grill over coals or fry in oil and finish with salt. Most rate at 500 on the Scoville scale with the occasional fruit getting up to 25,000. These became an obsession for us last season, I couldn't get enough!

Alma Paprika A favourite of mine, use fresh or dried. Red, round, warm but not super hot fruit with a rich flavour. 100-1000 on Scoville scale.

Beaver Dam Hungarian heirloom, warm to hot flavour, great for pickles and salsas. Suited to cool climates. This was super productive last year, despite the differing Scoville ratings I couldn't handle the heat of this one as a frying pepper even though I was addicted to the Padron, but it was wonderful to add warmth to curries and salsas. It continued to ripen fruit in the unheated polytunnel until July. 500-1000 on Scoville scale.

Rocoto Perennial tree chilli. If protected from frost this pepper will fruit all winter. It produces great crops of hot, round peppers. May grow to 4m but easily pruned to a manageable size. Withstands cool temperatures, but not frosts. 50,000 to 200,000 

 Good producer of long, red, hot peppers. Use fresh or dry for year round use. 30,000-50,000 Scoville points.


Beaver Dam