Home Grown

I love growing my own fruit and veg, even if it is time consuming watering the plants. This is the third year running we’ve grown tomatoes on the patio and we had a bumper crop. We tried broad beans, but only got one meal’s worth. My purple broccoli have mainly succumbed to the cabbage white butterflies. How do they find my few plants? They must smell or something, as the patio had been covered in white butterflies. Consequently, only one plant soldiers on supposedly to produce broccoli after Christmas.

Our main crop is chillies. My husband likes everything hot!! We have grown three types this year, long green ones, round ones, which are a vicious looking purple before they go red, and tiny red ones. Those tiny red ones had my husband and son red faced, fighting for breath when they tried them. Oh dear, I gave some of those plants to the school plant stall – someone will have a surprise!

For the last few weeks, I have been busy preserving my crops. We have jars everywhere of tomato and onion relish, red pepper chutney, green tomato chutney, tomato sauce, chilli jam and extra hot chilli jam (eat at your peril). Today I need to pickle the three different types of chilli. My house smells permanently of vinegar and I must have bought up the entire area stock of Kilner jars, but I reckon it will be worth it for all those lovely flavours throughout the year.

If you are one of the people who bought those chilli plants….oops! Sorry I didn’t realise they were quite that hot.

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels. http://mortonsgray.com


  1. We have three raised beds that we use for veggies and strawberries. Hubby tends to be the maintainer of those… or my dad will help out. I'm good at picking the tomatoes. We always have cherry tomatoes, and both of my boys eat boat loads of them… so this year I wasn't overrun and needed to make soup!


  2. I love my garden but I'm a lazy gardener and mainly just a fair weather one too. My mum kept nagging me about my poor dehydrated tomato plants in my plastic mini-greenhouse thingy. Before going on holiday I plonked the poor suffering plants onto the patio so that they could at least get a drink when it rained. I don't think it rained that week we were away in August. Anyway, poor neglected plants are still on the patio step looking almost dead. The surprise, though, is that they are producing tomatoes, still!!


  3. Mmm, I love home made pickles. I bought a set of Kilner jars last year and did some, but didn't get round to it this year. Your chillies sound fab. A friend of mine grew some, froze them, and gave me quite a lot for our freezer. I'm amazed at how good they are frozen. I'd never have thought of doing that!


  4. I think it is becoming more popular again to use home grown produce. It is certainly tasty, but the watering can be a bind.

    Mmm Sophia, you've given me an idea for the last of the chillies – freeze them! Waste not, want not and all that. Trouble is more excuses for hubbie to cook blisteringly hot chillies and curries!! Seems to anitdote my hot flushes anyway! Mx


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