Sunday, 26 April 2009

Pumpkins and produce

Autumn is here and the rains have come at last, bringing to an end one of the toughest summers we’ve had here in South Australia, where water restrictions have coincided with exceptional heatwaves. But the garden has been productive, we still live in a climate where we can grow both apples and citrus together, and the autumn harvest has been bountiful.

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After I’d harvested a barrow-load of Butternut pumpkins, along came a visitor to the garden to swap stuff, and he gave me this giant Queensland Blue pumpkin, making mine look puny. We store ours in the shed (not on it, as in the old days, because of rats and possums). We put the pumpkins inside this big Perspex cylinder to keep the rats and mice out; the black plastic crate helps the cook to get up there and fish them out…

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Japanese ‘Daikon’ radish can be peeled and grated coarsely, then mixed with finely chopped onion, chives and society garlic, French sorrel and tarragon from the herb garden, juice of a lime, olive oil, lemon juice and vegetable salt. This makes a pleasant salad alongside garden greens, capsicums, tomatoes and cucumbers.

DSCN0133On our customary walk through the Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills on Easter Sunday, we found a few walnut trees growing on the footpath next to pasture land, and picked up a bagful of walnuts. The German Easter Rabbits are looking on, completely astounded by our windfall.

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Somehow the cold weather and rain lets the bush beans know that time’s up for this season, and suddenly the seedpods are ready for the seed saver to collect bean seeds for next season’s crops. ‘Strike’ bush-beans on the left, ‘Low’s Champion Bush Beans’ on the right, already harvested and ‘frozen’ overnight in the freezer to kill off the bean weevils.

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The last of the fresh cling-stone peaches were eaten last week, but the zucchinis keep coming. Were it only the other way around!


Maggie said...

Roast pumpkin,yummy!
Do you have to move the pumpkins, to let air to all the surfaces during storage?
Our daikon are tiny, but when they get to carrot size we just eat them raw in the garden.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so many pumpkins! And such a variety of things mentioned in your post. Lovely!

Andrew said...

Hi Maggie
We take the bird netting that we don't use during winter and scrunch it into a big pad on the bottom of the 'pumpkin tank'. This lets air circulate around them and prevents the bottom ones going mouldy. Eating them ASAP also prevents mould!
Roger, come around for pumpkin soup sometime when you're not sailing and after I've finally handed up my thesis...

Christina said...

Look at all that beautiful squash! I'm just thinking about planting mine now. How wonderful!