Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Elderberries tomato and chilli festival a truly uplifting combination

Now this really was a joy. The Elderberries are a  gardening club for pensioners that meet in St John's church hall in Birkdale and they are a most friendly and welcoming group. Today they had their Tomato and Chilli festival under the watchful eye of their chair Derek Lewis Lavender. I was down to judge the produce. 

and the winner of the coveted trophy
The truth of the matter was that there was a goodly display of home grown tomatoes and the elderberries had been very enterprising choosing some unusual varieties alongside the expected ones. I was particularly impressed by the full sized plum tomatoes, but there were no chillies. Speaking to the members it was clear that one of the issues that prevented more chilli growing was the problem of the glut. What on earth do you do when all your chillies ripen at the same time. In truth a pensioner living alone can only consume so many chillies in a single sitting. I suggested that the answer was to freeze them . I grow a variety called Apache. It is a very neat compact plant a 'medium chilli heat'. I find the peppers freeze whole very satisfactorily. The F1 seeds are available from Sutton Seeds

The Elderberries had their own categories for judging including 'ugliest tomato' and added another one; cutest tomato. I was ably assisted by Mary seen in the picture presenting me with a  bouquet.

This is a thriving and happy club that meets one a month. So if you live in Birkdale and like more information please get in touch and I will pass on your details to Derek.

On twitter this afternoon someone remarked what an interesting combination of flavours was conjured up by the report of my visit. I suggest that the correct way to consume the elderberries is to ferment them first. They are just ripening and about to give of their best.

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