Tuesday, 28 June 2016

night of the dog, super early squash

After dusk last night we saw a dog running around our yard.   Border collie shape, black with white splotch near or on its head.  It was quite dark out and this dog was quick.  Don't know if it's domesticated or a wild dog, but we are NOT happy about it.

About three days ago, the animals started acting different.  Angle the goose was especially upset.   One duckling was found dead about the same time.  During the day yesterday some of Angle's eggs were tossed outside her nest.  Not like anything we've seen before.  If it had been a raven, it would have had a hole in it.  No, this was something bigger.  They weren't eaten, just laying about around the place.  Then I saw the dog digging about in her house and I understood.

The squash seeds that went in the manure pile last March are coming ready.  This is my second year for my landrace Cucurbita maxima squash.  

Weighing in at over 4 kilograms, this squash feels and sounds ready to harvest.  I accidentally broke the stem yesterday, so it's now in the kitchen.  I'll probably leave it there a week or more before eating so that it can sweeten up.  

I suspect this is a mix of First Taste and sweet meat Oregon Homesteader that I got from Carol Deppe.  There were other squash varieties in the mix including several seeds saved from grocery store squash.

Grocery store buttercup squash was $2 a pound yesterday, Japanese squash, almost twice that.  

My goals for this landrace are: 

  • yummy!
  • promiscuous pollenation
  • big seeds
  • frost tolerant when young so can be planted in early April or march
  • big flesh, small seed cavity
  • about 2-kilo fruit
  • vigorous vine growth style - no bush squash for me.
  • direct seed in the ground instead of transplanting
  • vigorous root growth and drought tolerance
  • good keeper
  • a variety of colours

Found another move flax flower, marked the plant.  These two plants have very open anthers unlike most of the blue flowers which have closely spaced anthers.  Lofthouse writes about the flower structure here.

Flax is starting to dry down nicely.

Safflowers are starting to flower in the kitchen garden.

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