Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

The ball on the right is the Mexican squash, Tatume.
The metre long , narrow one, resting diagonally, is Bottle Gourd -- aka New Guinea Bean aka Lauki aka Cucuzza.
In the front is a Choko.
The pumpkin creatures are Kabocha -- Japanese type.
The thin, stem like fruits (one with a flower) is Tromboncino zucchini.

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Comment by Dave Riley on January 10, 2019 at 3:02

One of my favorite choko dishes nowadays is this: Braised Chayote (LINK)

Indeed this very simple recipe was a revelation such that I'm addicted and make it often. It's subtle layering of flavours makes for a very satisfying meal.

You can use any minced meat or substitute the choko with Bottle Gourd and maybe zucchini such as the long Tromboncinos. Just don't over cook them.

My adaption to squashes has enriched our domestic menu greatly such that it has meant I have a working garden template anchored around the growing of tomatoes and squashes. I am drowning in choko and Bottle Gourds, Tromboncino and Hokkaido pumpkins.

The recipe I referenced has the added culinary  touch that it celebrates the subtle use of cherry tomatoes -- as in Tommy Toes -- or grape toms, for that matter. Cooking with these is a wonderful gastronomical hack.

You are so much in control with the tomatoey flavour depth by deploying the wee toms, whole or sliced, when you add them and how many.

As my menu shifts to greater garden dependency I find pole beans fit into the mix so well. Selected herbs. Spring/green onions. Chilies. And favorite greens.  The challenge is to increase the harvest of peppers and cucumbers.

Comment by Dave Riley on June 13, 2018 at 11:20

I've tried the Snake Gourd at different seasons. Squash 'vines' are tricky anyway as they either grow really well or flounder -- then maybe recover.

Even choko can be temperamental if the weather isn't right.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on June 13, 2018 at 7:06

Fascinated how many of the pumpkin family will grow and fruit in the winter! Usually they are warm-weather plants.

My Tromboncinos are fruiting well even now it's so cold. But they do have some powdery mildew on the older leaves. Although it is mostly a warm spot where they are, I reckon there's not enough sun for their liking at this time of year.

Dave you may have better success with those tricky plants if you try again when the weather warms up.

Comment by Dave Riley on June 13, 2018 at 2:14

I'm not gonna bother with your standard zucchini-- preferring to grow Tromboncinos instead. Troms can also be aged on the vine to become 'pimpkins' -- like a butternut.

The Tatume has white flesh inside. But it tastes like most squashes. I'm ambivalent about them as a growing and kitchen harvest. I didn't get enough fruits to harvest them when small and young.

I've tried to grow Snake Gourd--Trichosanthes cucumerina --LINK -- which is delicious with a succulent texture, but I haven't mastered the skill --only getting one or two fruits per desultory vine.

My on-hand fav is definitely the Bottle Gourd. If You think you don't have the space they are easily trimmed back with no ill effect to its fertility.No growing problems except their spread. No mildew. Lovely white flowers. Very versatile in the kitchen --and for a 'zucchini', keeps really well..

One Bottle Gourd vine is more than enough for any extended family.

I'm still resting the Kabocha harvest prior to cutting and while I wait, I'm gonna plant Red Kuri -- then recycle the Kabocha seeds.

I also have fruits forming on my Armenian cucumber!

Since I'm over the worst of the squash challenge, I'm hoping to be able to skill up to hand pollinating--as pollination failures  are  probably a major handicap to successful squashology.

Comment by Valerie on June 12, 2018 at 19:26

That's an impressive haul! I love the tatume look. Nice and smooth. Does it look like a melon inside too?

Our pumpkin do great straight out of compost that has been spread on the beds. I don't argue with volunteers. A slight success with zucchinis this year though powdery mildew is making a meal of it. I've got to get on the milk spray soon. 

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on June 12, 2018 at 8:42

Pumpkins are also in my long list of failures. 

Comment by Dave Riley on June 11, 2018 at 22:59

That's been my experience too, Susan. I've had some success with butternuts -- but the Japanese Kabocha have been a breakthrough for me. 

Given this I was thinking of exploring the connection further as there are other variations, such as an orange one : Orange Hokkaido / Potimarron/ Red Kuri. (LINK)

I saved my Kabocha seeds from a store bought pumpkin.

I hope I've harvested these at the right time as there are still some left on the vine. I read where it is best to store  them for 6 weeks to allow the sugars to develop further.

Comment by Susan on June 11, 2018 at 21:40

I cannot get pumpkins to grow for love nor money. Don’t know what I’m doing wrong there. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on June 11, 2018 at 16:03

My! What rippers!

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