Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Butternut Update
week 23

June 11, 2007

Interior garden, growing squash indoors, first flower week 23
The first butternut squash flower in full bloom

This week the butternut squash settled into their new mid-living room location and I started to wonder about their lack of contact with actual sunshine. I always thought of my house as light-filled, especially during the 8 month-long Dutch winter, when the trees are bare and my apartment on the 3rd floor is blindingly well-lit during the 6 hours of sun we have up here in the Polar Circle. The sun hits the water and my house is all a-dazzle with reflected light, animations on the ceiling and walls.

But in week 23, the effects of moving the plants just 1 metre away from the windows and into the living room are enormous. The squash, pumpkin and calabash are effectively always in the shade and the leaves of the butternut almost never get actual sunlight. Consequently, they’re not growing very vigorously, compared to outdoor growth. I had to move the pumpkin and calabash back into the kitchen to get some big time sun-dosing. It’s a pain in the ass, those big tubs taking up space. Whatevs. Beauty is suffering.

Interior garden, growing squash indoors, week 23
Calabash and pumpkin in the kitchen doing much better thanks to contact with actual sunlight. I know, I need to wash my windows.

Flower buds have started forming and although I can’t tell which ones are male and which ones female, (the female being the only fruit-bearing ones) I’m counting about 8 buds per plant. Yesterday KvR convinced me it was OK to cut a few off, to encourage the others to thrive even more. I’m afraid to do so because it doesn’t feel that abundant and because I’ve never done this in an outdoor garden situation.

Interior garden, growing squash indoors, week 23
The beginnings of a living room divider that will soon arch over the couch and form a guest room.

Growing indoors is in no way as satisfying as growing outdoors. In the Occitanian Kitchen Garden it seems like you can watch the squash grow. But I’m still enjoying endlessly fussing with the plants and my guests are completely mesmerised by the large plant life in the living room. We’re all fantasizing that there will be squash archways (squarshways?) forming a little guest room around the couch.

debra at 12:19 | | post to

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