The good earth

by | Jun 16, 2012 | Uncategorized | 8 comments

 As I drove out to the bach, I wondered if the persimmons at the organic growers would be ripe. Were they ever! I had to stop at the bottom of the drive to photograph the orchard.

 The laden branches were quivering with the excited squawks of minahs, who were going crazy over the bounty. I felt like squawking too, because I adore these delicious fruit.

 The growers, a couple, have worked for years, bringing in manure from a pig farm, adding compost and other manures until the soil has become rich and black. They’ve just spread fresh sawdust between the rows of the vegetable beds, giving an orderly, bright appearance.

 To my surprise, they still had some of their famous beefsteak tomatoes. In my book ‘Dancing with the Seasons’, I tell Alan’s secret for growing the very best every year.
Yes, I know it’s the middle of winter, but these were ripened in the green house. I bought 3 bags of persimmons and two of tomatoes.

And a big bunch of silver beet (this is only a fraction of it). What a pleasure it is to eat straight from the good earth, and to find lettuce, rocket, sweet basil, carrots, calendula flowers (that’s one of mine in the photo) and a small capsicum in my own garden. And then I was able to get a jar of tomato relish from Kathy, the organic grower at the beach. It’s my favourite, and I always go through it too fast.

It may be winter, with frost predicted for tonight, but with all this goodness to fuel my inner fire, I feel as happy as could be.


  1. Lynley

    The rich colours of winter Juliet, albeit with a surprise in the ruddy red beef steak tomatoes.

    I love those grilled with black pepper and a wee knob of butter on them:-)

    I have just planted my garlic. With the weather being so cold it seemed right to head out and do that on a fine afternoon today. The next front is due tomorrow bringing rain again.

    Enjoy those persimmons.

  2. juliet

    I haven’t been able to prepare the soil adequately for garlic this year Lynley, so none for me, but I wish you a good crop. Grilled beefsteak tomatoes sound a good idea. Thank you.

  3. Hotly Spiced

    How wonderful to have fresh persimmons. Those trees have so much ripe fruit you were definitely there at the right time. I would love to know how you use them and cook with them xx

  4. lifeonthecutoff

    There is nothing quite like freshly picked fruit and vegetables. Such an abundance of persimmons and those tomatoes look like sunshine divine, Juliet. I know you will enjoy them during your stay at the bach.

  5. juliet

    Charlie, the persimmons are delicious simply chopped into pieces and served on a plate, maybe with a toothpick put into each piece. Sometimes I add pieces of pineapple on the same plate, as they make a good contrast, colour and taste-wise both. Persimmons used to be quite astringent, or else mushy when ripe, but the more recent varieties are perfect to eat whether crisp or just starting to go soft.

    Penny – I think of your berries, the summer equivalent to the persimmons in terms of delight. I’ve certainly been enjoying them, and the tomatoes.

  6. Anonymous

    Delicious, what a gorgeous garden.. one year i bought silverbeet seed back here from NZ and it was such a treat to have a taste of home, I must remember to get some more in december.. celi

  7. juliet

    Celi, thanks for calling. Silverbeet is so easy to grow, and once you’ve got it, it should self-seed quite happily. These organic growers made me think of you – although you do animals as well, which is quite something else.

  8. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet .. what a great looking organic spread, that you can mix and match with your own.

    Sounds cold! Still your tide has turned towards warmth … we’re still waiting for summer – that seemed to come in February and has never been seen again ..

    Major flooding in the north of England yesterday .. down here – just wet and chilly!

    Cheers Hilary


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