Subscribe with Bloglines At last I've got my plot!: November 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Marina di Chioggia

Have compared my long storing pumpkin with my seed packets and decided that it was this one.
Marina di Chioggia. I got the seeds at Wisley but Franci seeds are available in lots of places.
Googling these found this info on the seed (My packet is in Italian so not much info on there)

"Very old, rustic pumpkin from near Venice. Thick, knobbly skin and sweet yellow/orange flesh. Rich in Vitamin A which helps keep eyes and skin healthy. Also contains mineral salts (Calcium & Phosphorous). @9. Sow Mar-end Jun and harvest till the end of November."
Another site has a picture
And another describes it here as very long storing picture shows a more warty pumpkin than mine was.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

This is hard to believe....

These were the sum total of the squashes I harvested from the big compost pile on the bank, under the tree, where I sowed the pumpkin plant given me by a friend earlier in the year. He didn't know the name of the variety. They are 6 inches diameter....not large, but they were under the giant beech tree that borders my plot and cuts out light and water from half of it so I wasn't actually expecting much. Next year I'm moving the compost bays to this site....!
This, however, is what I am finding hard to believe...! This is one I grew last year in one of the deep beds on the plot, I had it on the windowsill in the sun room all year. This faces north so only gets sun morning and evening (suits me as I hate too much sun). The windowsill is a good place for plants, warm and bright but not too hot. I took this photo five minutes ago. I'm amazed at how well it has kept....a whole year on the windowsill with only an occasional dusting. I thought it was about time we ate it!
So, I cut it through expecting it to be like concrete....but not so. It cut very easily and inside was still beautiful! (See next picture). I will eat this over the next week or two. DH doesn't like pumpkin, which is why it just hasn't been used up to now.
I wish I could remember which variety it is. (It is 11 inches diameter). If I could I'd choose to grow it again forever as its keeping qualities are wonderful. And I am sure it will still taste good.

The ones on the windowsill from this year's poor harvest have soggy stems already so I know they won't keep. I will likely have to freeze the flesh withinn the next few days.

No action at the plot today as I have a bad head, and it is intermittently raining.
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Monday, November 02, 2009

A truly beautiful morning

Too nice today to hang about indoors, especially as the weather is due to deteriorate tomorrow til who knows when. So I went early to the plot to start on the spud beds for next year. Whilst there I thought a lot about the layout of my plot and have decided that over this winter I will re-organise it somewhat.

Firstly I am going to site the shed at the N end of the plot. I get so little sun in winter on my plot that I must maximise what does come. The hedge and the shed being on the S edge of the plot makes it very gloomy for most of the winter in the part of the plot that should get the most sun.
So...I will move the shed to the top of the plot, and cut the hedge to 3ft high, and move the compost bays to the bank....under the tree where nothing will grow.

I will also take away the path down the middle of the plot. I will still have the long 3'6" wide beds running across the plot...but they will now be 18ft long instead of being in two halves. I shall re-instate the historical path down the RH side of the plot...between the long beds and the bank. This path was obliterated by the previous plotholders but I can soon tread in a new one.
I spent an hour or so weeding out the docks and other pernicious weeds that were in the path between the two beds that will be the spud beds and forked through the two beds on either side to find the bindweed roots that were beginning to take over the bed. When I took over the plot I deep dug the whole site and dug out a mountain of white roots. It has lasted well.
The soil was so soft it was a dream to dig today. The beds (where I never tread) were so soft that no foot pressure is needed now to dig. On the bit between the beds that was path for the last 3 years just required a bit of foot pressure on the fork to free the roots of the docks etc. Truly a "knife through butter" day on my plot.
This bed will have manure spread in the spring and spuds will go in in March.
I noticed that the Brussels at the top of the plot were ready so I picked half a carrier bag from 6 plants, and tidied up the lower yellow leaves to the compost heap. I also picked a cabbage.

My husband also came to the plot for half an hour and strimmed the paths. I raked up a lot of grass and strewed a lot of it over the spud beds to keep light away from any tubers near the top of the soil.
I'm glad I have a plan to get the sun back onto my plot. Now I have to find the energy to do it.
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