Tag Archives: squash

Leek and butternut squash risotto

The happy confluence of winter squash, leeks, and a batch of good stock naturally led to a favourite risotto recipe. I enjoy making risotto, but it has to be done in the traditional way. I make them fairly often, but tend to avoid them when eating out; they can be adulterated with ill conceived ingredients and the texture is too often rather stodgy. The combination of leeks and roasted squash, though, makes a delicious risotto. Continue reading

Winter squash harvest

Strange but delicious things found lurking in the undergrowth

Determining the exact moment to harvest the winter squash can be a little tricky. They want to grow and ripen for as long as possible, but gloomy weather, especially with the onset of autumn rains, is not good for them. Placing a tile or something similar between the squash and the soil to prevent them becoming too wet and rots setting in can help, although our soil is not very prone to being waterlogged. One also needs to keep a close eye on the weather forecast, just in case of an early frost. The sunny days of early autumn certainly seem to have turned to wet and cold, so it was time to gather them in, before the next round of rains. Continue reading

Winter squash planted out but a menace lurks under glass

After a weekend of heavy weeding, the smaller of the ‘wedge’ beds was cleared of the worst of the explosion of spring growth. A nasty assortment of annual and perennial weeds had taken over, including thistles, nettles, couch grass and the ever present creeping buttercup and some as yet unidentified but not quite so invasive sort. We should have covered the bed with weed fabric over winter until ready, as we did with most of the other beds – next winter we plan to cover all bare soil as crops are cleared. It makes life so much easier when planting comes around once again. As much as possible of the perennial roots were dug out, but no doubt some remain. What small growth was left was hoed off and the soil raked over ready for planting. The soil appeared rich enough from previous applications of manure so nothing more was done. Continue reading