13.10.09

Squash

Our poor little back garden is looking very end-of-season. Dishevelled and rotting, the lush greens of summer are slowly disintegrating. We had yet another terrible year for tomatos. The wet summer brought blight again, and by the time the weather improved it was too late. But miraculously we have managed to have a small but consistent crop of cherries, and they are still struggling on.

The purple and green string bean wigwam, a late planting, is also still cropping, despite it's raggedy appearance.
Our acorn squash were disappointing; only two so-so fruits from four plants. But we will save the seed and try again next year.

The cucumbers have been slow but magnificent. This last one has been quietly growing without us even noticing. Then, the other week, I glanced at the fence and - wumph!

Despite having many, many butternut squash plants, we only harvested five. What a satisfying crop it is. The heavy baby-heads are so solid and cold, that you really feel as if you have
grown something. To save space, we grew most of them up poles and trussed them up.


At their height, they were voluptuous and triffid like. Now they are crumpled and dying, but still fruiting. I wonder of any of these tinies will get to edible stage before winter sets in?


Five fat butternut squash. One to eat now and four to store, somewhere dark and cool.


Titbits from Cotswold Peeps

We have found a delightful new walk in even more beautiful countryside.
I have been moonlighting as an informal delivery girl.
And there is a new, autumn online edition of UK HANDMADE MAGAZINE which is simply beautiful; full of projects, interviews, recipes and general loveliness. Just click on the front cover to read, and make sure you have a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

26 comments:

tut-tut said...

I was just pulling up the tomato and the shriveled cukes from their spots out back.

Still reaping the leafy crops at the patch: chard, kale, rabe, beet greens. Satisfying to plunge them in a pan of (slightly salted) water to clean them up

Carol said...

I've cleared the greenhouse today and used some of the crops to make chutney.
Thank you for the link to the UK Handmade Magazine, looks a really interesting/useful read.

djanderson said...

You can still eat baby butternuts, chop up and fry gently in a bit of butter, delicious. Immature just means they won't keep.

rachel said...

Well done for growing butternut squashes! Mine didn't make it to leaf stage last year. This is such a messy time in the garden, isn't it, all that dying back. But before we know it, it'll be time for seed trays and planting up again !

Lyn said...

Well you did better than us!
Love
Lyn
xxx

Bee said...

I was working in the herb beds today . . . but my veg patch is a mess. Runner beans are browning on the vine; strawberry plants run amok. I need to dig up my potatoes and see if any of them are good.

My tomatoes were so disappointing last year that I didn't even try this year. I may give the butternut squashes a go next year, though.

Thanks for the tip about the UK Handmade Magazine.

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

we didn't plant a thing this year. Going to plan for next though because I missed stepping outside and getting fresh stuff. Looks like you did well in spite of ...

(())

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

My garden is wild and tired. Rather like myself.

Jennifer said...

Love the glimpse in to your garden! How odd-- we had similar luck, good & bad, with the same plants over here. There's always next year... :-)

Frances said...

Hello again, good to see what's been going on in your back garden. I love what you wrote about feeling good about really growing something.

That was so similar to my feelings about my long ago Brooklyn gardening.

Squash are rather wonderful plants. Fun to draw and to harvest, too.

Sorry about the tomatoes. Judging from what I have seen at our local farmers greenmarkets over the past two months, 2009 was not so great for luscious ripe red tomatoes over here either.

xo

janet said...

I checked out your UK Magazine...you and I should be sitting at the table on pages 58-59 ;-)...YUM!

Suze said...

You're still harvesting, so not all bad...and I can understand the satisfaction of seeing those neat golden butternuts all lined up. Even with the topsy Summer, it sounds as though you've done fine...and the hard work paid dividends.

I'll have to see what our new garden brings...

tlawwife said...

That is the kind of luck I have with tomatoes too. This year I didn't even try. But next year maybe?

Frances Tyrrell said...

Aren't those five butternuts just calling out to be a picture?
Inspired by the Milly Molly Mandy story I tried growing pumpkins some years ago. The blessed squirrels took EACH and EVERY one off the vine as soon as it showed golden coach potential.
I am enjoying your beautiful "Costwold Peeps"
Blessings
F

the casbah kitten said...

What an ADORABLE back garden area. My garden had mixed success this year but I have TERRIBLE soil. It will be better next year as I'll be hauling manure and compost to it. I'll have to come back and visit all your links when I have more time.....

frayedattheedge said...

I was just feeling pleased with myself after today's post on making quince and apple jelly ...... then I read your post .... so I think my report card will have to read 'must try harder'

Yarrow said...

Wow, you've done so well from your garden and apart from our several tonnes of potatoes and onions, I'd say you were far more successful than we were! Well done :)

kx

spinyurchin said...

Great squash pics! I only grow cherry tomatoes now really, since we get that whole rain thing too at the end of summer that trashes all the hard work of gardener and tomato plant! The cherries hang in there though.

Gemma Mortlock said...

Haha ths reminds me of my partner, all i have been hearing lately is how well his produce is getting along ! bless him! :)
p.s im trying to arrange a christmas swap on my blog if u are interested pls pop over and have a look,
Hugs
Gem
x

Libby Buttons said...

Always a bit heart breaking to put the garden to bed for the winter. I have some winter squash (heirloom seeds so they will be true to form size taste and color year after year) that are excellent and better for making pumpkin pies than pumpkin. Sweet and tender flesh and brilliant red orange color. Id love to mail you some seeds. email me at libbybuttons@live.com and leave your address if you'd like some.
smiles
DarLie

Merisi said...

You wrestled quite a crop from the recalcitrant weather gods! Thank goodness, I just had dinner with roasted butternut (sliced and roasted on a baking sheet, together with onion slices and garlic cloves and sage), otherwise I would have to go and cook some right now!

Linda-B said...

I love the photo of your acorn squash. Come to think of it, I love acorn squash, baked with cinnamon! Thanks for the link to UK Handmade -- what a terrific website!

Linda-B said...

Oops -- sorry! I meant butternut squash.

Kitty said...

That row of squashes looks so cheery and reassuring! I bet they'll taste amazing in the cold dark evenings of winter :) I bought one the other day just to try - they're such good value and taste for money I'll probably be eating lots this winter! How do you cook yours?

Kim said...

It's amazing how everything goes from full of abundance to shrivelled in the blink of an eye! We grew red kuri squash this year and they have been delicious, I'm cutting back on the courgettes and growing more squash next year, for definate.
Kim xx

Soozcat said...

For some reason those butternuts all in a row remind me of one of your needle felted creations. They rather look like they're trying to help each other along.