Apples and other produce

You’ll recall the post on gherkins and which crops came up this year and which didn’t and apples were mentioned?

These were Chuckles’s:

Tree groaning with them.  From his notes, I note:

One of the joys of getting on in years and taking up allotment gardening and such, is that you get to try the new ‘experimental’ varieties and cultivars as they mature through the year.

Here we have a multiple strike – Asparagus Peas, which last year got munched by the mice, snails and birds, but this year are producing like crazy, and spaghetti squash, which was an absolute winner last year, but this year we are trying out a new ‘mini’ round variety, while still growing the trad variety as well.

[From the South African years], S Africans as a nation are absolutely besotted with ‘Gem’ squashes, small round tennis or cricket ball sized green squashes that grow likeweeds in almost any conditions and produce huge quantities of fruit/squash, and story for several months under almost any conditions.

Mature squash have a fairly stringy texture when cooked, and spaghetti squash is very similar, but with a much bigger rugby ball sized squash, and a stronger flavour.

We’d heard that spaghetti squash, like Gem squashes were delicious when picked and eaten ‘young’ almost as a summer squash, so we thought we’d try out the new variety, which already has about 25 squashes forming on 3 plants.

These are considerably bigger than Gem squashes a,d have o be cooked longer. Like most squashes, they can be boiled, steamed, baked etc etc, we simply cut in half, boiled for 30-40 mins removed the seeds and served, with a bit of butter.

Ditto the asparagus peas, boiled and served with butter, and all accompanied by some roast pork shoulder and rice, with a bit of gravy.

The asparagus peas were good, but I’d prefer them in a stir fry or salad, as the dry weather is making them a bit tougher than they need to be. Still, very good overall

The squash was beyond outstanding. An absolute knockout. Tastes very similar to a Gem squash, but stronger flavoured than a similar age Gem, and much more creamy in flavour.
I need to plant some more.

While this is going on, the newly picked onions are drying in the shed, the dehydrator is drying some broadbeans, some raspberries and some apple. Gherkins are bubbling away in a bucket, sauerkraut in another one, chutneys and jams are maturing in the storeroom etc etc.

A lot of these things can be grown in large pots, but need to be outdoors. Spag squash also tends to sprawl and take over the neighbourhood, faster than Japanese Knotweed.

10 comments for “Apples and other produce

  1. dearieme
    July 21, 2018 at 14:39

    We tried asparagus peas once – not for us. We have plans to try a new variety of squash next year.

    P.S. Chez Chuckles either likes small plates or big portions.

    Our sweetcorn are coming on nicely.

    • July 21, 2018 at 15:37

      Sweetcorn and butter.

    • Chuckles
      July 21, 2018 at 16:03

      dearime, I’d go with the second…:)

      In the squash stakes we’ve tried quite q few varieties over the last coupleof years, with (in no particular order), acorn squashes – Cream of the Crop or Table Gold, Berretina Piancentina, and Squashkin/Autumn Crown, and Turks Turban, with Spaghetti Squash for variety

      Adding pumpkins to the mix, Queensland Blue, Crown Prince and Hungarian Blue are all very good

      This year we’re trying an heirloom squash called Ute, which is reportedly very tasty and very prolific. Too early to tell on the taste side, but it’s certainly prolific, with about 4 or 5 squash per plant already.

  2. Mark Matis
    July 21, 2018 at 16:56

    Y’all need to plant some zucchini. And when they mature, sneak out at night and leave them on the doorstep of any neighbors you don’t like…

    There’s nothing quite like getting a “gift” of a three foot high pile of squash.

    • Chuckles
      July 21, 2018 at 19:20

      Trouble is, there’s no such thing as the’right’ number of zucchini plants. There’s only two settings, ‘fatal’ and ‘none’.
      Last year I made the mistake of trying a cultivar which produced round fruit.
      It roared into life, grew about 4 feet high in about two weeks and produced absurd amounts of zucchini from 2 plants. And if you didn’t pick them at the cricket ball or baseball stage,they turned into footballs overnight.
      And everyone, being round, had that much more per zucchini than the conventional ones. This year we’re keeping it to one plant, as the flavours some of the best we’ve tasted.

      In parts of the South,they say that at this time of year,you’ve got to keep your car locked wen you park it, or you’ll come back to find a basket of zucchini on the back seat.

      • Mark Matis
        July 21, 2018 at 19:28

        And if they REALLY don’t like you, the car will be stuffed so full of them that you won’t be able to even get in!

  3. dearieme
    July 21, 2018 at 18:06

    When your courgette becomes a marrow serve it stuffed with minced lamb. Brilliant!

  4. Ubermouth
    July 21, 2018 at 18:27

    i love zukes,they are so versatile.
    I love breaded & baked and zoodles (preferably raw).
    I would consider that quite a gift indeed.
    As I eat a lot of organic food,which is far too pricey, I have taken to growing different veg from the roots of my veg.You would be surprised how many you can keep growing in water on your window ledge(although,I then plant them).
    I am growing ginger,tumeric, garlic,sweet potato,shallots,beet greens,celery,lettuce,parsley plus a myer lemon tree and granny smith apples. All from foods I buy anyway.
    I also am sprouting and growing microgreens from seeds,nuts and legumes.
    I am now getting into wheatgrass.
    I drink green juices and beet juices, which are tasty and really healthy for you…and a great go to when you are not hungry or can’t be bothered to cook dinner.
    It is amazing how much can be regrown from what we throw out.Soon I shall have to devote one of my livingroom walls to a vertical garden.

    • July 21, 2018 at 19:15

      Would go well with your kebabs.

      • Ubermouth
        July 22, 2018 at 00:11

        Oh yes,I would kill for a kebab from England.I used to order mine with only half the meat and double veg.
        Although, I would put deep-fried tofu(which is mind-blowing tasty) in kebab now.

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