Archive for the 'Cucurbits' Category

Courgettes (zucchini), squashes and pumpkins

Sweet pumpkin pie – yuck

sucrine du berryIt’s OK folks, it’s back to gardening today. You can come out from behind the sofa. I’ve pulled myself together.

*Audible sighs of collective relief*

I’m pretty chuffed with my unusual pumpkins. As Barb (sorry, no link provided) so brilliantly commented on my original post about these, they are indeed Sucrine du Berry. Must be – they look nothing like any others I’ve seen.

Pumpkin cut in half

It’s a traditional old French variety – and a delicious one, as it turns out (sweeter than other pumpkins I’ve tried).

Probably not the best for savoury recipes, but no doubt brilliant for pumpkin pie, in the American style.

Shame I don’t like pumpkin pie, huh?

Posted on 29th November 2009
Under: Cucurbits | 8 Comments »

Do not adjust your computer: This IS a pumpkin

Green pumpkin

No, dear reader, you’re not seeing things. You read right: this is, indeed, a pumpkin.

Granted, the characteristics generally definitive of a pumpkin (spherical, orange, ‘pumpkin-ey’ etc) are, unusually, absent. But it says ‘Pumpkin’ on the seed packet I sowed, so it MUST be true.

Just two questions:

  • Anyone ever seen a green, peanut-shaped pumpkin?
  • Er… have I been had?

Posted on 22nd August 2009
Under: Cucurbits | 10 Comments »

Back to a land of plenty

Week of growth

Say you missed me. Life was meaningless without me. You’ve white-knuckled your way through my absence, gagging for your hit of Soilman magic… right?


Hey-ho. Too bad, because I’m back from my Spanish holiday and I’m full of beans. Don’t give the tiniest shit what anyone thinks, and am ready to crow about my allotment successes. Sickening, innit?

Here’s the week’s worth of veg that grew while I was away. A few torpedo marrows, but lots of good ones. Plus some sensational corn, carrots and beet. It’s turning into a terrific allotment year.

Posted on 2nd August 2009
Under: Cucurbits, Flowers, Roots, Summer, Sweetcorn | 13 Comments »

A typical basket NOT from Tesco

Peas and courgetteA pretty standard basket of veg picked on the allotment at the moment. Lots of peas, LOTS of courgettes.

I’m always struck by the absurdity of those supermarket TV ads competing for prices on ‘a typical basket’.

Whatever they’re punting, it’s not my idea of a ‘typical basket’, that’s for sure.

Posted on 24th July 2009
Under: Cucurbits, Peas and beans, Summer | 7 Comments »

Gherkins and Leeks

Salted gherkinsWell first the good news: I have more gherkins than I’ve ever had… ever. Tons of the buggers. More than 30 already, and they’re only just getting started. Wife is salting them furiously, but we still can’t keep up.

Now for bad news: I think I’m on course for a 100% crop failure.

It’s the leeks, the ones I put in so confidently a few weeks ago. Not only have they not grown, they’re now dying. Slowly.

Why? Haven’t a clue. It’s not anything obvious – I’ve checked all the major allium diseases. The buggers have just decided to cop it.

Which is depressing the hell out of me. Mostly because I know it’s my fault: if I’d been to the plot more often, I’d probably have caught it earlier – whatever it is – and been able to take remedial action.

But I couldn’t, because I have no time. It’s a refrain of my life. I do everything by schedule, snatching minutes here, seconds there.

Jeez, even in the khazi I’m usually crapping against the clock. Most of the time, I long to scream: “Just give me five minutes, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!”

Posted on 16th July 2009
Under: Alliums, Cucurbits | 12 Comments »

Waiting for rain

Courgette in potPhew. Had a few days to cool off and come to my senses. Back to normality.

This lack of rain thing is becoming a problem, isn’t it? I know you guys Oop North have had a lot, but down in the SE of the UK it’s dry as a bone. My allotment’s like a desert. Don’t usually see this until July.

Absurdly, I’m writing this under a Met Office weather warning. By the time you read it, I’ll either be ranting anew about inaccurate weather forecasts, or building an Ark in the attic. See you on the high seas.

Posted on 14th May 2009
Under: Cucurbits | 9 Comments »

Summer leftovers

Summer squashes

Hmm. Don’t know what to do with these.

They emerged from the weedy patch I was clearing today. Old and past it, and no good for eating. But it seems so wrong to chuck ’em on the compost.

Any ideas… that don’t involve eating them??

Posted on 12th October 2008
Under: Cucurbits, Weeds | 5 Comments »

Crappiest gherkins in the West

This is the sum total of my gherkin crop for 2008.

It’s deeply, deeply shitty. And wretchedly unfair. I did everything right, but the weather crapped on me.

I’ve just got back from a short trip to Russia, where the sun was shining and the temperature was 25C. Cloudless skies, floating blossom, the lazy buzzing of bees, etc etc.

Then I get back to yet more British floods. I find myself questioning, not for the first time, the sanity of my forebears.

After all, these are the people who rowed across the English Channel in approx 4000 BC and decided to stay.

They must have arrived in July, during the only hot summer of the last seven millennia.

Posted on 8th September 2008
Under: Cucurbits | 7 Comments »

Sow, weed and heap

pattypan courgettesAt this time of year, the house feels like a farm shop. There are vegetables everywhere.

The pattypan courgettes have gone berserk. We can’t keep up. So the traditional question, “What to do with courgettes?”, is upon us.

The traditional answers – chutney, frittata etc – just make me depressed. Been there, done that.

So sod it. I’m composting the buggers. And I feel totally liberated.

Posted on 11th August 2008
Under: Cucurbits | 7 Comments »