Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Oh, my gourd - Check them out

I took advantage of the cooler weather before it heats up again to get a couple of metres of compost delivered and dig it into the sandy beds of the Back Block. I put out half the load and will try to get the rest out tomorrow. I did heaps of work today digging for the winter vegetables.

I have planted quite a few beds but I still have many more to go - snow peas, beetroot, and in the next few months, shallots and other dividing onions.

 I only got four gourd plants to grow this year with the poor spring. Unfortunately the miniature gourds didn't come up at all and the only plants I have are two varieties of large ones.

This is one of the bushel gourds from my three plants. They are bigger than they look in this picture. Each plant has 3 fruits on it.

Only one of my giant bottle gourds grew and since the fruits are so big they only grow one fruit each. This one is the biggest gourd I have ever grown, it is currently 105cm around the waist. I don't think it has much more growing to go now though as the autumn is nearly upon us.

There is one bigger variety of gourd you can grow but the season is not long enough to get it to ripen here, I had doubts that I could even get one of these to ripen.

The biggest problem I am going to have when it is ripe and dry is that I won't want to cut it to get seeds. I think I will have to use the next 6 months till it is ready thinking what I am going to make with it when I do open it up. I love growing gourds but I really shouldn't grow these giant ones as I could never sell them for enough money to cover the cost of the space, water and time to get one fruit per huge plant. It takes nearly a year to grow a gourd and dry it. Who would pay $50 for a singe dried gourd no matter how rare it is?


My Zucca Di Albenga pumpkins have done well this year even if they are not as big as I would like.
Each plant has a huge number of fruits on them. They are great immature as zucchini and you can also let them ripen as a winter pumpkin.

They are related to butternut pumpkins so they taste good and are great in pumpkin and bacon soup, my favourite.

The great thing about these pumpkins is that the seeds are concentrated in the bulb at one end so they are easy to cut and use and have little waste.


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