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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Food Forest and Pruning Tomatoes

Last weekend we visited a local private property along with about twenty other people as part of the Transition Towns Movement.
It was a beautiful spot at Pataua North, with a rammed earth home, a food forest (picture yourself in a forest where nearly everything around you is food) and great views.

That mulch is kikuyu grass - cut like hay - horrible spreading stuff, good to see it is useful for something.

It was a beautiful morning - and always pleasant to meet like-minded people. It was the first Transition Town garden we had made it to, but will definitely try to get to more. All the ideas you gain from other people's experience make it so worthwhile.

Love that gate

At this particular garden they are able to harvest ripe bananas all year round.

Paths meander through the wilderness, no mowing of lawns here

The utilities side of the house. You can just see the door to a concrete tank, built into the bank, which makes an effective cold cellar.

We all found the tour of the composting toilet and the operating instructions interesting too - thanks Hans for the entertainment.
We both came away with enthusiasm to plant more food bearing trees, and to add more ground covers like kumara (sweet potato) and nasturtiums.
We are on the right track, but could do so much more. We have friends and family around who are happy to take any excess fruit and vegetables.

Do You Prune Your Tomatoes?

A garden tip that I have read about recently in Organic Gardener (Australia) Oct 2015, concerns to prune (nip out the laterals) or not to prune tomato plants.

Tomato lateral - to nip or not to nip...?

The Diggers Club study showed that unpruned tomato plants had greater yields, and that there was less chance of disease. The downside being that more staking would be required. 
I have always tried to nip out those laterals, so any excuse for less work looks good to me - I'll be leaving most of them this year.


  1. I agree -- I always learn something from visiting someone else's garden. That looks like a very interesting homestead in many ways. I have always taken out what we call the suckers on tomatoes, too, as it was supposed to increase yield. Hmm, maybe I will try an experiment next summer and only remove them on half the plants.

    1. Yes, do your own study. I will look forward to reading your results eventually.


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