Its great to get away and nice to get back. Julie and I went off to Sicily for our honeymoon. I had left the allotment reasonably tidy before we left with the watering system on a constant drip 24 hours per day. The good news is that everything survived the two week break, the bad news is that some plants went bananas.
Courgette to the left marrow to the right
At this time of year courgettes should be picked daily. They can grow from the size of a little finger to perhaps a handspan (about 20 cms the right size for picking) in a single day. Left longer they develop into marrows. Which was what I had after two weeks, a marrow mountain.
I have grown three varieties of courgette this year, a dark green variety, a yellow and a pale green, all produced marrows. We had to get innovative with marrows. In the last couple of weeks we have replaced pasta with marrow/courgette and had lasagne – just replace pasta sheets with marrow slices, mousaka – replace aubergine, marrow, tomato and sausage sauce over pasta, roasted marrow, stuffed marrow, grilled marrow, barbequed marrow. It’s fair to say we are marrowed out.
Whilst away Julie spotted a garden supply shop in a small town called Piazza Armerina. It had a display rack of local Sicilian veg seeds. I couldn’t resist so we ended up with Violetta di Firenze aubergines, Fagiolo Rampicante haricot beans, Tonda Chiarra di Toscana zucchini, Cilegia Piccante chilli and the magnificently named Serpente de Sicilia zucca.
We had seen a peculiar veg for sale on the markets, about 1.5 metres long and narrow in girth, with a pale green smooth skin. We had also seen buckets of leaves and stalks being sold, the leaves looked like a cross between that of melon and cucumber but we did not associate the two until we saw the zucca seeds. Apparently this squash can grow to over 2 metres in length and you can also eat the growing tips. Sown in June they should be ready for November.
I was inspired to create what will become, over the next 12 months, an Italian garden so, after sorting the rest of the plot out, I dug as much horse manure (John presented me with two trailer loads as a wedding present – how good is that?) and compost as I could find into a patch of very clay ground and turned the water on for a couple of days. I will keep you informed of progress.
we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Visit Andalucia than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our articles available to as many people we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Visit Andalucia articles take a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe in the future of Andalucia – which may well be your perspective, too.
If everyone who reads our articles, who likes them, helps fund them, our future would be much more secure.
For as little as 1€ you can support Visit Andalucia – and it only takes a minute.
Subscribe to our mailing list to receive our Newsletters
I took out my broccoli plants this week. One of them had a house guest, a Praying Mantis. He, or ........ More
We had some very welcome rain towards the end of December and early January. Everything benefited........ More
In December 2014 Julie bought me eight fragrant roses for my birthday. I planted them in a right ........ More
Most vegetable gardeners of my generation were taught to plant in rotation and prepare the ground........ More