Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Starting a Vegetable Garden: Pumkins

At the time of writing my first blog about starting a home vegetable garden I had planted some pumpkin seeds not really expecting they'd do much. I've had so little luck when it comes to growing food (not that I'd previously put in any big effort) that I didn't have confidence in those seeds growing.

To my surprise pumpkin plants sprouted up and soon pumpkins were beginning to grow. At the time of harvest (in June before the cold weather really hits) the plant had supplied 10 healthy pumpkins.


As you can see by the picture the pumpkins we've grown have slight differences, some are squat and round, others are elongated and difference colours. They are JAP pumpkins and the seeds came from a lady who gave me a pumpkin she had grown herself.

One pumpkin accidentally got cut off early in the grown stage and that one was used for roasting, risotto and soup, while the seeds were dried out to snack on.

Another pumpkin was used to make pumpkin pie, the first time I'd ever made pumpkin pie, and it was delicious.

The next stage is preparing the remaining pumpkins for storage. Research suggests sitting the pumpkins on a sunny windowsill or other place where the sun hits and leaving them there for two weeks to harden their skins. Rotating once at the end of the first week.

Then they go into storage in a cool ventilated place out of the sun (I'm still yet to figure out where that will be). Put on a wrack that allows airflow around the pumpkins, not touching so they don't rot. Apparently the skins can be rubbed in oil for more protection.

It's all very exciting to have some home grown pumpkins and to be able to feed the family a number of dishes with food we've grown ourselves.

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