The Wellington suburb of Northland isn't renowned for its tomatoes. When Harvey was still gardening, he would hopefully plant some every year, and in April I would start making green tomato chutney.
Now we've moved to Karori, I'm responsible for the vege garden. Thanks to my neighbour, I've finally discovered how to grow tomatoes here successfully:
1. In December, drive out to Oderings in Upper Hutt.
2. Buy a ready-planted basket and a bottle of tomato food.
3. Water well and follow the feeding instructions on the bottle.
4. Pick a handful of little red tomatoes every day.
The basket is meant to produce yellow ones too, which I like for their sharpness, but I've had less luck with those - the red kind seem to have taken them over.
We eat these for lunch with bits of basil, but they also make a good appetizer: cut out the stem end using a V cut, and push seasoned cream cheese into the gap. You can also roast them, but it seems a bit of a waste, and by the time they've shrunk with the heat they're very tiny indeed.
Hardly a major contribution to our food, I know, and unlike my Tauranga friends I don't get huge bowls of them. Still, it feels immensely satisfying to twist them off their stems and bring them inside. And they taste terrific.