My green thumb

I’m sure everyone can agree that the worst thing about doing anything is having to tidy up after yourself. It takes all the fun out of it, at least for me, and so it’s something I put off for an exceptionally long time. Therefore, it so happened that I spent this week tidying up after this summer’s tomato harvest.

I know, I know – you should tidy up after your gardening before the winter. The ground is softer and easier to dig, the air is warmer and less painful on your fingers, it gives you time to plant early seeds or seedlings for winter harvest. But it’s slightly different for me because, as you can see from this photo, I have taken balcony gardening to it’s logical extreme.

Flower pots on my balcony

This summer, I made my 1m x 3m space create 6 potato sacks, 10 tomato plants, several beds of spinach, spring onions, radishes and rocket, and 4 courgette plants that made absolutely no courgettes. It was exciting, and really quite impressive, although none of my friends seemed to care.

I actually took this photo a few months ago, when I made this chutney, with a few adjustments. I used apple vinegar instead of white wine, because it feels more autumnal, and I didn’t put in any sultanas. I don’t know about you but I find dried fruit in normal food very stressful. I’ve never made biriyani for this exact reason, and I would never serve anyone my (otherwise delicious) tagine, because I never put in the apricots.

I only dealt with the other stuff this week because of my earth storage situation. I keep my earth in a bin in my parents’ garden, which I can see from my balcony. However, they won’t let me do a MacGyver style contraption involving pulleys and buckets, so I have to walk all of the earth from my balcony, down the stairs, through the alleyway and to the end of the garden. It’s not ideal, and very easily put off for another day.

The chutney turned out great, by the way. It’s slightly too tangy, not quite thick enough, but nonetheless delicious. I have it in cheese sandwiches, and I’m thinking of cooking some pork as well. My favourite thing about my green tomato chutney is that is has so many different types of tomato – little plum tomatoes, normal cherry, yellow ones which I grew for the first time this year. They all come together in this beautiful medley of sweet, sticky autumnal goodness.

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