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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : February 4th 2009
MB INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, February 5, 2009 9 Tomato king's top harvest SHIREEN KHALIL Angelo De Francesco with his giant tomatoes. Picture: PHIL BLATCH ~PP238316 You have to take care of them properly, prepare the soil with rich minerals, cultivate them, and to use rain water' ' ANGELO DE FRANCESCO THIS year alone, Concord West's Angelo De Francesco has grown more than 100kg in tomatoes and they just keep getting bigger. The retiree spends hours a day maintaining his 76 tomato plants and says he'd rather slave away in his garden than be doing anything else. ''I'm not the type to waste my timeatapub,IliketodowhatI can around my garden to keep it green and clean,'' he said. Mr De Francesco's largest tom- ato weighs in at 1kg and he says the secret to producing big tasty tomatoes is by having the right soil. ''You have to take care of them properly, prepare the soil with rich minerals, cultivate them, and to use rain water,'' he said. Rather than wasting tap water to protect is garden, Mr De Francesco collects rain water from his drains and stores them in his 22 bins. ''The bins are all around my garden and it's even better when it rains because they just fill up,'' he said. But it's not just large tomatoes he can grow, his zucchinis are more than 1m long. ''It takes time but I enjoy it and I have nearly everything from beans to cucumbers, olives, egg- plant and grapes,'' Mr De Francesco said. He describes his mini-farm as the land he comes from. ''My family used to have a vegetable garden in Italy which I helped produce and when I moved to Australia I decided to keep my hobby going,'' he said. Despite having hundreds of good quality tomatoes, Mr De Francesco does not sell them. ''I give them to my family and friends and my wife also makes over 28 bottles of tomato sauce out of them for pasta,'' he said. Mr De Francesco said his tom- atoes were of a quality not to be found in any shop. ''You think about how many people handle the vegetables be- fore it gets to the shop, but with mine, I pick it from the garden and it goes straight to the kitchen,'' he said. ''I enjoy seeing the result of all my vegetables because it makes me proud and happy.'' NEWS www.innerwestweekly.com.au Residents to have say on pool's future FIONA BRADY WHAT do you think of Ashfield Aquatic Centre? That's what Ashfield Council is hoping to find out in its latest feasibility study which it will use to plan the centre's future. Mayor Ted Cassidy said both the deep pool which is currently closed for repairs and the 50m outdoor Olympic pool are reach- ing the end of their asset life cycle and require frequent mainten- ance, causing inconvenience to swimmers. ''It was time for the council to start seriously considering our future needs, options and budget for the aquatic centre,'' he said. The SGL Group, which is con- ducting the study, will question a representative sample of resi- dents, clubs, schools and services from Ashfield and surrounding suburbs about their likes and dislikes about the centre which also includes a children's pool and a 25m indoor pool. ''This study will enable council to evaluate the community's cur- rent and future needs, the options for redevelopment, as well as budget implications,'' Cr Cassidy said. ''Council is committed to retain- ing this much-loved recreational facility and I encourage people to have their say during this consul- tation process.'' For details about the study phone the council on 9716 1800 or visit www.ashfield.nsw.gov.au
January 28th 2009
February 11th 2009