Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

Bumper crop

It’s my birthday. Woo hoo! I feel like Tigger, excitement verging on hysteria, not because of my birthday so much (but still, Happy Birthday to me-e!) but because I’ve pledged to complete all the revisions on the farming families book by Christmas. I have 20 days left and plenty of work ahead, but hey, today it’s my birthday and right now there are presents to open (Hip hip hooray!) treasured gifts and cards from friends and family in England and Australia. What a lucky woman.

The back yard here in Sydney has given me a gift too, and it’s a special gift. In the first two days after we got back I harvested four kilos of tomatoes from a single plant. There are more tucked down the skinny side of the house too, fattening and ripening on vines clambering happily up the wall.

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The tomatoes were special because they reminded me of something Mum once told me. When she was a child and treated to a visit to the cinema, she didn’t take lollies (or sweeties as we called them in England and Wales) she took a bag of home-grown tomatoes. Her quietly spoken father – Grampy – grew them in the small back yard of their two-up two-down terraced house in Cardiff.

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I’d forgotten all about it until I harvested that crop of tomatoes. They reminded me of Grampy and of Mum. Then I thought about all the vegetables Dad used to grow in his back garden and the greenhouse by the River Dee where Aunty Beth and Uncle Jim grew tomatoes, and suddenly my birthday was full of very special memories.

A bumper crop of presents.

 

 

39 comments on “Bumper crop

  1. scribbley14
    December 4, 2014

    Happy birthday!

    Like

  2. wendylockyer
    December 4, 2014

    Good morning Sis and a very happy birthday to you from a chilly uk. Hope you have a brilliant day and enjoy munching on your tomatoes. X

    Like

  3. debhuntinbrokenhill
    December 4, 2014

    Thanks Sis! Clyde still sleeping and he’s guarding the presents, so I’ve been enjoying an early morning cuppa looking at the garden, much as Mum used to do xx

    Like

  4. Val Lord
    December 4, 2014

    Still the 4th here Deb! So a very Happy Birthday to you!! Love the pics of your tomatoes! I will definitely try to catch up, I think in February, will confirm for sure when I have dates. I will be requiring gardening tips, of course and might trade you some recipes – vegetarian of course! Hope you had a fantastic birthday! And Hello to Clyde from Andrew and I xx

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      December 5, 2014

      Aha, yes we’re well ahead of you. Looking forward to catching up in the new year. Have a great Christmas and best wishes to you and Andrew from me and Clyde (hope the wedding went well!) xx

      Like

  5. Maggie Wilson
    December 4, 2014

    Happy Happy Day, you Tiggery gal you.

    Like

  6. Emma
    December 4, 2014

    Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Aunty Deborah, happy birthday to yoooooooou. Xxx

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      December 5, 2014

      Thank you gorgeous girl, if only hugs could be transmitted via the internet (one day they probably will be, a computer with arms will reach out and deliver the hug, not the same at all!! ) xxxx

      Like

  7. bkpyett
    December 4, 2014

    Many Happy Returns of the Day Deb! What a lovely post. Welcome home! I can see your garden has welcomed you already. My tomatoes are green so far, so you’re well ahead of me. Wishing you a productive 20 days and a wonderful, fulfilling year ahead. ❤

    Like

  8. monsoonwendy
    December 5, 2014

    Happy birthday gorgeous woman. So glad to be one of those friends and that you were born!

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      December 5, 2014

      Oh do hurry back from Nepal Wendy, I know they will miss you but we want you here! Love to all the many gorgeous women you are with (and I suspect one gorgeous man by now?) x

      Like

  9. Eliza Waters
    December 5, 2014

    Happy Birthday Deb! I’m glad you’re treating yourself well on this special day.
    Your tomatoes are so beautiful, I bet they love growing against that warm wall. It is so nice to see you enjoying summer as we slip into winter. It’s great to imagine it: right now, way to the south, it really is warm and the sun is high in the sky! Grab a ray or two for me!

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      December 5, 2014

      Thanks Eliza, I’m sitting in my office with the fan on to create a cooling breeze. Just finished chapter four so about to go and grab a tomato (or two) for lunch, with a great chunk of bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar! Hope you’re rugged up with a roaring fire and the warmth of loved ones by your side.

      Like

      • Eliza Waters
        December 5, 2014

        That sandwich sounds divine, wish I could join you!
        Yes, the wood stove in full on – warm and cozy. Cool, clear night with lots of moonlight reflecting off the snow. Quite beautiful, but I’m not feeling adventurous to walk out tonight!

        Like

      • debhuntinbrokenhill
        December 5, 2014

        I’ll try and hold that thought of cool white snow as the temperature soars here!

        Like

  10. nantubre
    December 5, 2014

    Happy Birthday my sweet cyber buddy! Good memories taste almost as sweet as fresh tomatoes! Or chocolate. Yeah, they taste as sweet as chocolate! Blessings on you and the day you were born…

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      December 5, 2014

      Thank you so much Nan! The blessings are very welcome, almost as welcome as the chocolate covered blueberries, chocolate covered almonds and chocolate covered coffee beans Clyde bought me yesterday… mmm!

      Like

  11. Weekend Sprout
    December 5, 2014

    Happy birthday and congrats on the beautiful veggies!

    Like

  12. Carricklass
    December 5, 2014

    Beautiful. Poignant. Evocative.

    Like

  13. wingedprisms
    December 5, 2014

    Happy Birthday! 🎶

    Like

  14. Cathy Mayne
    December 5, 2014

    Just got in – and you’re probably tucked up in bed now, but Happy Birthday anyway!
    xx

    Like

  15. redhairedgal
    December 5, 2014

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy those tomatoes and that wonderful sunshine 🙂

    Like

  16. Cedar Creek Quilts
    December 5, 2014

    Happy Happy Birthday!

    Like

  17. mrdjangozazou
    December 5, 2014

    Well, hark at the birthday girl and her cheerful bloody tomatoes! All we need, that is, while the temperature drops in England and everything’s just a great smear of brown! Only joking, of course; we can feel the warmth of your blogs all the way from Sydney, and they’ll keep us cosy until our own summer comes back. Don’t have a clue what day it is over there right now, but hope you have, or had, or are still having, a very happy birthday.

    DZx

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      December 6, 2014

      The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray… I think you know how the rest goes (although they forecast thunderstorms for tonight again and Maggie hates them so I’ve got the valium at the ready.) I had a lovely birthday thank you Django, have you got your Christmas tree up yet? x

      Like

  18. laroseedespetiteschoses
    December 6, 2014

    Happy Birthday Deb! Tomatoes look so lovely. ❤

    Like

  19. bigwhitehouseonthehill
    December 11, 2014

    I used to tell my girls that cherry tomatoes were little bits of sunshine. Thanks for sharing your memories.

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      December 11, 2014

      What a lovely idea – little bits of sunshine. Thank you Big White House on the Hill!

      Like

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This entry was posted on December 4, 2014 by and tagged , , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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