100-year-old Zinfandel bush vines perched on sandy loam soils in the Russian River Valley. What are the best soils for growing wine grapes? Learn more about the four primary types (sand, clay, silt, loam) and the effect they have on the wines you love. (Link in the bio.)
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Back to our Tomato Roots
Executive chef Christiaan Campbell and Boschendal’s horticulturist and food garden manager Megan McCarthy talk about how best to grow and enjoy tomatoes.
Christiaan: Tomatoes are at their best mid to late summer. The tomatoes are picked here at Boschendal and some from our partners that I work with. Of all fruit and vegetables, the tomato is a very interesting plant in that it apparently puts into its fruit whatever is in its soil – including heavy metals and toxins. You need to know where your tomatoes are grown if you are particular about what you put into your mouth. The tomato will gladly pass on the general soil health – so it’s good to know your tomato’s origin. Obviously, it’s important to buy organic and from a farmer that is concerned about soil health.
Megan McCarthy: This is the end of tomatoes now – and it’s the best of the season. Tomatoes specifically pick up lead from the soil so when you grow tomatoes you must avoid them coming in contact with car fumes – don’t grow them on the side of the road. People growing tomatoes in the cities and urban areas need to be particularly aware of this. I like growing tomatoes with basil and chives because chives keep the bugs away and basil gives them flavour. Beans are nitrogen fixers and should be planted close to tomatoes. Predominantly legumes have a relationship with soil-fixing bacteria and some have a relationship with nitrogen-friendly fungi and these live in the nodules in the fruit. When they break down the nitrogen they release it to the tomatoes. The problem with commercial tomato farming is that we don’t know if the crops have been exposed to harsh chemicals. Even if you peel them, I’m sure the herbicide goes right through the skin.
View full article below by Christiaan Campbell.