Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Two pumpkins are better than nothing

This year wasn't much of success in the pumpkin/winter melon department, especially with the japanese Red Kuri and Shishigatani. Again, I know it had a lot to do with the wet spring, and even with all my attempts at hand-pollination in the rain (why do the female flowers always open up around then?), not one came to fruition. I had loads of male flowers and only 4 females on the Shishigatani vine which should have guaranteed me something, but sadly it never happened. The Red Kuri below was actually from pulp seed out of a squash purchased at the supermarket. I figured that since it came all the way from Holland(!), I may as well try to get more out of it.

Red Kuri

Red Kuri

Italian turban pumpkins from nursery seedlings

Italian pumpkins

Collective Farm Woman

Stunted collective farm womanA reader wanted to see the inside of these, so I halved one that accidentally fell off the vine before they were ready to eat (too much fondling will do that you know). These sweet melons have a beautiful, creamy color, but they'll only ever taste like perfection when they're properly ripened and orange in color. I can't thank Christina (A Thinking Stomach) enough for sharing her informative My Highly Subjective Melon Analysis with the world, and look forward to growing collective farm woman next year.

Melon anatomy

Venus peach

18 peaches is really something to write home about, especially with all that our tree has been through. In May and the first half of June, aphids and peach leaf curl were the problems to contend with, but the odds were successfully beaten with everything from sticky tape and organic concoctions ranging from garlic, chile pepper, pyrethrum and stinging nettle tea applications. To battle the peach leaf curl we had to resort to using Syllit, a fungicide that was suggested to us by the local nurseries. The only drawback was that the peach crop matured a month later than the norm since the tree had to deal with so much stress earlier on. I noticed that while the fruit has excellent flavor (seems much sweeter than last year), it lacks the juiciness that we've come to appreciate. Not so bad really, after peeling and slicing them into a rustic tart. We've been enjoying peach crostata and vanilla custard gelato heaven!

Shoulda been the tree of knowledge of good & evil

Today's average: 23°C / 73°F

11 comments:

  1. those peaches look really good! I can see why Mr B loves them too :) And the pumpkins wow!

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  2. Kat - the flavor of the peaches is what we were so surprised about. We just didn't think they'd be any good after having gone through all that stress, but they were so sweet! Hmmm...maybe MrB should be in charge of quality control? :-DDDDDDDDDDD

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  3. you know he would love that job and would declare all inedible for humans ;)

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  4. Some day I'll have a peach tree. Maybe next year, but even if I have one next year, I won't be getting fruit yet. Yours both look and sound wonderful.

    Winter quash needs heat and REALLY fertile soil. If you can, plant them directly in compost for the best yield.

    I'm so excited that your garden is producing for you! Isn't it fun?

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  5. Christina - thanks for that tip! I'll be sure to heed your advice next year...it shouldn't be too hard to grow great melons (whoops!)

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  6. Melon and peach look really great. About these pumpkins, very intriguing indeed how the plant decides on the proportion of males and female flowers. Has it got any connection to the number of pollinators around the area?.. Hmmm..
    Cheers
    ~bangchik

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  7. Hi Rowena,
    All of the stuff looks really good - I'm envious after the complete disasters I had trying to grow veg in containers this year.

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  8. I'm so glad to hear that your peach tree recovered enough and produced fruit. The pumpkins look good too.

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  9. B and K - that thought never occurred to me, but perhaps it is so! ^-^

    Sue - disasters? Argh! I only ever have modest success with container planting. Herbs and flowers are okay, but vegetables...not. I guess it isn't for every greenthumb.

    Chaiselongue - thanks! It was a great surprise to us, as I felt that the fruit and tree would've been goners for sure. A little TLC goes a long way!

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  10. Peaches truly are a garden treasure, and each year I wait for my young trees to consider sharing a few of these juicy orbs with me. This year they were a bit stingy, which if I look on the bright side, leaves optimistic that next year they'll make it up to me.

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  11. Thrilled you got some peaches from your poor tree. Complimenti on the pumpkins - we got only one, but were thrilled because it was the first one ever.

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