At the end of last summer I took Anne Ravers advice and pulled up one of the tomato plants in its entirety and, still tied to its bamboo stake, hung the whole thing upside down, leaves, roots and all in the potting shed. I took a step back to take a look and thought, how interestingly decorative it looked. Did they ripen, did they taste good? I asked Heidi. Yes they did.
In the new West Elm catalogue, I found the image to the left along with a few others of great bunches of tied fruiting branches looking beautifully decorative in interiors that suggested primitive rooms where they still practised the drying of produce. Food for thought for next summer and maybe food beyond summer. Rather than harvest, I might just pull up and tie bunches of chilli plants to store for later. Maybe some chamomile and some medicinal plants and of course there's garlic and onions. What else? Obviously not pomegranates and olives like the catalogue. I'll have to do some homework.