The dreaded potato blight — that rot black fungus that once spread so much misery throughout Europe — took hold of our tomatoes last week. Had to destroy around two-thirds of our crop, wiping out my dreams of an immense Arabiatta stockpile. We managed to save a decent amount of uninfected green tomatoes though, and with a little luck they'll ripen indoors. The rest of the crop was farther away in the garden and seems to have been protected.. so far.

Blight is always a risk when you're growing both potatoes and tomatoes in the same space, although its possible the fungus/microorganism is already lurking in the land even when you aren't growing potatoes. It's a common risk so it wasn't entirely unexpected.. it's especially likely when you're growing tomatoes outdoors and not in a greenhouse where it's easier to control the environment. Unfortunately Sweden often also has the perfect moist and cool conditions for the Blight to prosper and take hold.

This unfortunate event meant we had to harvest our small potato patch earlier than we intended. The rest of the growing spaces are giving an abundance of produce so losing out on the full potential of these two crops isn't so bad. This is precisely why we — colloquially, in permaculture and growing circles — talk about cultivating a mix of crops, in an effort to build in resilience through variety, in case several crops have bad years or are lost entirely.

Overall, our project for this first season in the house/on the land was to have a functional kitchen garden — or, a garden that doesn't make you self-reliant, but provides a steady stream of daily ingredients — and we've easily succeeded my expectations there. Thankfully our freezer box is now installed out in the barn, so we can start preserving things like soft-fruits, jams and sauces. A lot of vegetables. especially root veg, will keep for up to around six months in a Jordkällare (EN: earth cellar or root cellar) garlic and onions will keep for even longer.

#growing #journal