Spent the afternoon picking the remaining squash and pumpkins from the field: I’d planted 3 shortish rows in spring, and quite a few plants near the gate had been munched by slugs (as always); and that patch of land isn’t quite as nice at the top patch anyway. So I’d planted them a little closer than I should to compensate for the expected slug/pest damage. And my word; the later-sown and planted butternuts in particular at the top of the field officially went nuts this year.
My lovely helper Aimee (who now comes along for an hour each week) and I picked and carted back around 15 wheelbarrow loads of 2-3 boxes-high of squash and pumpkins, probably around 50-70kg in the barrow at a time. That’s about a tonne of food! And some of the squash and pumpkins (especially the gorgeous grey Crown Prince) are well on to 5kg each. Hefting one up, you realise that it could feed a family of 6 or more very easily. Yum.
The only trouble is finding places to store the bountiful harvest; so I’ve sneaked them around the edges of the two drier polytunnels without sprinklers on, to carry on drying and curing in the warm weather (this seemed to work well last year). And I’m massaging my forearms tonight, because I feel like Popeye.