Monday, 17 August 2009

The Day of the Triffids

So this is as far as the potager has got this year - cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, runner beans, barlotti beans, sugar snap peas, mange tout, beetroot, carrots, lettuce, herbs, courgettes.... and butternut squash, butternut squash, butternut squash. You see the 'free' area in the photo on the right? That has now been totally invaded by the squash. They've scrambled up into the runner beans and are making a bid for freedom over the back fence. They just don't stop! Now you may ask as to how this has been allowed to happen, given that I have been growing veg for a good few years now and should know the ropes. Well it goes like this....

Back in Scotland when I started growing them I planted 10 seeds and 4 came up. On those four plants I got ONE squash. Ok. So we moved here. Same packet of seeds, same frame of reference. So I planted 20 based on previous experience. All 20 came up. I reckoned that we could indeed cope with 20 squashes as they store well so I happily planted all 20 seedlings, expecting about 20 fruits. But no, they were off. The scramble for life and reproduction was on. Stand still for 5 mins near them and they've woven their tendrils into your shoelaces in a desperate bid to shore up the ever swelling fruits. I think there must be at least 100 squashes happily expanding in the sun! I was down at our neighbour's taking them some spare eggs and I was telling the lady about this situation. She thought it was hilarious and rushed in to tell her husband who was working on their roof. All I could hear was raucous laughter from the rafters! So if you come to stay this autumn/winter - possibly even in the spring and early summer of next year - guess what's on the menu?

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