Harvest of volunteer cherry tomatoes and more

by Lala

I still can’t believe that the monster cherry tomato vine which planted itself amongst my roses, has become so large. Not only is it a massive plant, it is pumping out dozens and dozens of the most delicious, full flavoured cherry tomatoes! I will certainly save these seeds, and also spread the little tomatoes around the garden & hope the seeds can overwinter. I’m still quite shocked that the cherry tomatoes I bought from the nursery look so miserable and have lost their leaves now, while this plant is doing this well.

Volunteer Cherry tomato

That tomato plant is tough as nails. I took the picture in over 35C heat. As you can see the plant is doing alright, but the guava and some pumpkins in the back are wilting. Earlier in the season, when the tomato wasn’t supported, my German Shepherd Dog bulldozed through it and snapped a lot of the main branches right down the middle.mwhen the plant didn’t die a week or so later, I decided to start taking proper care of it. I tied it to the nearby shade tree in several places, as best as I could. I fertilised it with some manure and bounce back at the time and have been very well rewarded.

Volunteer Cherry tomatoes on wooden board

The rest of Tuesday’s harvest contributed to the evening’s meal of meatballs & bolognaise sauce, which I served with a mix of brown and wild rice. I harvested three blades of spring onion, some oregano, parsely and basil. I chopped these herbs up into the meatball mix, sprinkled some into the bolognaise and used them as garnish.

The unusual fruit on top of the tomatoes in the main picture is a pepino dulce (solanum muricatum), which is marketed as the Fruit Salad Plant by Margaret Roberts here in South Africa. I ate the very last one on the plant, after I lost most of the fruit to birds over the past few weeks. I wanted to allow them time to ripen well on the plant, but alas, it was not to be.

This is the pretty, purple striped fruit sliced open:
Sliced pepino dulce

The pepino dulce has the texture of a crispy cucumber and tastes like a very mild flavoured melon and cucumber combined. I’ve tried growing the plant in the ground, but I can’t keep the soil moist enough for its needs on a regular basis so I keep it in a pot. I do still have scraggly ones growing in the garden, but they certainly aren’t thriving or fruiting.

You may also like

Leave a Comment