More trouble with fruit fly

25 Feb

My parents visited today. They are so full of knowledge (particulary on the subject of chickens), so I spent the day picking their brains. The kids absolutely adore them too, and run around like crazy things all day.

I was out in the front yard showing Dad my fruit fly problems and my promising (second) crop of apples when I spotted something horrifying.  A fruit fly on one of my little tiny baby apples! On closer inspection, 7 of my apples were already stung.

I was too distracted to take photos, but the apples range in size from those still in bloom through petal drop and to small fruit like you can see in the second photo here.

I said yesterday that I had purchased 10 exclusion bags. I had that wrong – I actually ordered 20. And with the prospect of losing my precious apple crop, some of my tomatoes lost out. I guess it’s all about priorities 🙂

Green tomatoes - 350g brandywine (front) and 400g Rouge de Marmande (back)

I made the call to harvest some of the larger tomatoes green in the hope that they will ripen indoors. I picked enough to free up sufficient bags to protect the (unstung) apples that had set, thinning the stung apples for the chooks. That’s one way of forcing me to thin the fruit!

All up I picked 2.4 kilos of viabile (green) tomatoes, along with another kilo or so of stung fruit that I hadn’t noticed yesterday. That’s 5 kilos in less than 24 hours that have gone to the chickens 😦

I guess I’m going to have to buy more exclusion bags in a hurry – I now have a plethora of unprotected tomatoes and potentially many more apples on the way. I seriously can’t believe that the fruit fly would be interested in fruit so green and so small!

Tonight (having guests) I started on dinner with the intention of serving P’s diet food. Unfortunately I kept on thinking of ways to improve the recipe by adding delicious stuff like crispy roast potatoes and avocado. The outcome was infinitely more delicious and significantly more  fattening than the original. The differences were so significant in the end that it is basically a completely different recipe. It was good. Proably the most delicious thing P has eaten in 2 months.

Beef and Crunchy Potato Salad with Hoisin and Sesame Dressing


  • 500g beef fillet
  • 1 large or 2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced roughly
  • 1/2 Iceberg lettuce, cut into small wedges or other bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large avocado, cut into large cubes
Crunchy Potatoes
  • 700g floury potatoes, peeled cut into 2cm cubes
  • 3 tbsp oil of your choice  (I used beef lard)


  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • juice of 2 lime
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

Sear the beef in a pan until browned all over, then transfer to the oven to roast for 15-20 minutes (until internal temperature is 70 degrees). Set  aside to rest, covered in foil.

Increase oven temperature t0 240 degrees

While beef is in the oven, put potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes. Drain.

While beef is resting, coat par-boiled potatoes in oil of your choice (I used reserved lard from making beef stock – quelle horreur!) then spriknle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and roast until crispy.

Make dressing by combining ingredients in a jug.

Once beef has rested for 20 minutes and the potatoes are close to ready, slice the beef thinly and combine fresh salad ingredients together. Coat beef with some of the dressing in a separate bowl, then use the rest of the dressing for the fresh salad ingredients.

Serve the salad on plates, topped with beef.

Sprinkle the hot crunchy potatoes over the top and serve.

Disclaimer: This is not diet food. It’s delicious food. I did reduce P’s portion size and significantly reduced his servings of avocado and potatoes, but you can see from the photo here how far he’s come. He’s looking skinny!

4 Responses to “More trouble with fruit fly”

  1. Gardenglut February 26, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Oh damn, how dissappointing. I have had mixed results with trying to ripen tomatoes inside. Sometimes it works, sometimes the result is dissappointing, sometimes its kind of a waste of time and the fruit just looks very unhappy. I wish I could tell you what the factors in the above are – I am not sure I know what they are but perhaps others more experienced than I know.

    You do have a good chance with putting the tomatoes next to bananas. Some say in a brown paper bag. Apparently bananas give of lots of the ripening hormone (that’s why they turn so quickly) and they can influence other friut.

    The other thing to do is take advantage of the green tomatoes while they are fresh and make a green tomato jam or chutney.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

      My Dad absolutely swears that you need to break the stem out if you want them to ripen. I’m dubious about that theory, so I’ve left some on, taken others off. We’ll see.

      The banana thing definitely works, but my youngest has digestive issues and bananas are like poison to him so I try to limit my purchasing. I’m hoping my banana tree will produce soon though, but I suspect it will be a bit late for these tomatoes.

  2. Liz February 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Really sorry to hear about the fruit fly. Hopefully the tomatoes were far enough of along to continue ripening. They look like fabulous specimens.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      Oh dear, I detect some doubt from you! Now I’m worried that they are *too* green to ripen, because you are the tomato oracle, Liz!

      I am absolutely going to grow the brandywines next year, and perhaps the Rouge de Marmande too because of their bountiful harvest and disease resistance. I just don’t like their crazy shape so much – Many of them are not so great for slicing.

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