Thursday, 7 July 2011

"The time has come" the gardener said,

"to talk of many things, of sheds and hoes and summer squash, of cabbages in spring" (with apologies to Lewis Carol)

I got a phone call last night from the secretary of the allotment association at our new Diss plot. We're not allowed our own sheds down there but instead have to rent one of the block of Council built sheds for the princely sum of £2 per year. The only trouble is that since the plots were divided in half there are half as many sheds as plots so there's a waiting list to get a shed. I've been waiting since I took on the plot in October and the phone call last night let me know I'd finally got to the top of the list so the upshot is - I have a shed!

This morning I went to investigate and transfer numerous things from our garage to the shed - including my treasured wheel hoe. It's much more convenient to keep it on site but I am a bit nervous about security, I'd be very upset if it was stolen. Not so much for the monetary value but the difficulty of getting hold of a replacement.

Now, I may not be cabbage looking but the purple sprouting broccoli certainly is. I bought a tray of seedlings from a car boot sale a couple of months ago, planted 5 of them, 4 have come up as broccoli but one has turned into a cabbage! Quite what my fellow allotmenteers make of me growing a single cabbage I don't know. Probably not as much as me growing enough summer squash to feed an army.

Talking of which - one of my growing goals this year was a basket of mixed summer squash and today I achieved it. I picked my first Patty Pan squash, aren't they amazing? I've not grown them before and I think I may have let these ones grow too big. I was waiting for them to turn snowy white like the picture on the seed packet but they're stayed vaguely green tinged, I'll probably pick them smaller in future. But look, Patty Pan squash, yellow courgettes and stripy courgettes, crook neck squash to come in the near future. This is why I have an allotment, you can't buy a basket like that in Tesco - I've got mixed tomatoes in my sights for next year.


  1. Is it just me who was totally confused by the "I may not be cabbage looking" phrase? For anyone else as uneducated as I am, apparently "I'm not as green as I'm cabbage looking" is a "well known" Yorkshire saying. Northerners, eh? Tsch.

  2. I bet you're pleased you've finally got your shed, though I too would worry about the security there - I'm afraid the wheel hoe would be staying at home to become my travelling companion when required.
    The squash are amazing! I only have my small back and front gardens but manage to grow runner beans, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, soft fruit and herbs along with plenty of border flowers. I'd quite like to share an allotment as I don't think I'd have the time to cope with a full one. You amaze me that you have two!
    Happy Gardening :o)
    Rose H

  3. I grew Summer Squash a few years ago. The bright yellow alien space ships, like your white ones. We sliced them across and grilled them on a bbq. Delish and great fun too!

  4. Rose - I used to just have my tiny back yard too, got my 1st allotment March 2010, 2nd allotment October 2010, it takes a bit of getting used to!

    Thanks for the idea Choco, I'll try that.

  5. How funny, I was blanching and freezing Squash today as we are going on holiday and they won't last till we get back. Unlike you, I did not grow them myself, but the next best thing - organic farm over the hedge.

    If you have any good recipes, do share as I am at a bit of a loss what to do with them.

    Oh, and I had no idea what the cabbage comment meant. Thankfully, Adam translated and I now know more than I did this morning.

  6. I was confused by "cabbage looking", too! Learn something new every day. Congrats on your shed :)

  7. Ssssh! No-one tell Adam he was right!

    MmeL - My favourite courgette/summer squash recipe is the pickle on the 'Pickle Recipes' page. I often roast them and freeze them, or make soup and freeze it. I've also made courgette and ginger jam which is quite nice (sweet, not chutney like) and courgette cake. Having a fussy eater in the house, they're also good in 'hidden veg' type pasta sauces because they're so bland tasting.

  8. Well I understood the cabbage comment Tracey....and just in case Adam I'm not from Yorkshire....I guess it's a saying used in Lincolnshire too.

    I have never grown squash such as these as to be honest I really didn't know what to do with them....I have seen lots of squash that people use purely for decoration so didn't know which exactly were edible....Oh sorry I'm waffling....what I really want is some posts and pics on what you turn those squash into!!