Last year on the allotment I planted two types of winter squash. (As far as I can tell summer squash are soft skinned things like courgettes and patty-pan squash, winter squash are hard skinned like pumpkins, butternuts etc.) The first was Uchiki Kuri, a red onion squash also known as pottimarron in French as they have a taste reminiscent of sweet chestnuts. The second was Turk’s turban. I had a good crop of both and both were good keepers so we were able to enjoy them right through the winter. In fact I used the last of them at about the same time as I planted out the seedlings this year.
I had a few of each type of seed left, and I also saved seed from one of the Uchiki Kuri and sowed a couple of those. The plants grew well. There were lots of flowers and some fruits started to develop. I could see plenty of the Turk’s turban coming along. I was disappointed that there didn’t seem to be so many Uchiki Kuri.
One day I went hunting among the mass of leaves to see if there were any more. That’s when I saw The Thing. Deep in the bed, hidden by some rampant tomato plants, loomed a massive pale presence. Like a nocturnal-eyed Gollum it seemed to wink with menace. Blight took the tomatoes and I cleared them out, revealing its flesh coloured almost buttock-like dome.
Finally I have plucked up the courage to get in there and harvest some of the squash. I’m guessing that one of my own seed turned out to be a hybrid between the two types from last year. I, or at least the bees, have created a monster. There was only the one. The plant seems to have put all its energies into producing it. I think we should probably save it for our Halloween supper. Spooky!