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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kapocha Squash

Kapocha squash are easy to grow in the Northwest.  They are so profilic that last year I had to pull a couple of plants mid-season because we had so many!

The seeds are large like pumpkin seeds, so when you plant them, you plant them in hills about a 1/2 inch deep.  They are quick to sprout and when fully grown, the plants take about 2 to 3 foot area in your garden. You can expect to get anywhere between 10-15 large kapocha squash from 1 plant.  (The two in the picture above are each about the size of a human head).

The one drawback of the kapocha squash is that it is super mild, almost flavorless.  That said, I found a good recipe here.  Another good way to use them is to simply blend the meaty flesh and mix it with basil - it makes a great starter broth, like a vegetable broth.  Then add water until you get the righ consistency.  The way I see it - it's better than just starting your soup with plain water.

You can roast the seeds in olive oil, salt and pepper, just like pumpkin seeds.  You can also puree them and use as a topping.

If you're looking for a very mild squash that produces a LOT of fruit for the space it takes up, add a Kapocha to your garden this spring.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Starting With Tomatoes

Today, I'm thinking about getting the tomato seeds started.  As I recall, it was early to mid- January last year when i got started.  I wish I had photos to share with you, but my entire living room was filled with starts.  I had over 50 tomatoes going by March - along with eggplant, serano peppers, and many other veggies.

One mistake I made last year with the tomatoes was not moving them into gallon buckets while they were growing indoors.  As a result, I had the plants in smaller pint-size containers and they got root bound.  This caused some initial disease and the plants did not look particularly healthy - although most of them transplanted just fine in April.

So, this year, I won't make that mistake.  I'll make sure to transplant my 6" seedlings into much larger gallon containers once they start to form additional leaves.

I'll post some progress pics once I get going!