The cooler weather has brought stunning seasonal changes to Riverdale's Kitchen Garden. The garden and the grounds are swathed in the fiery hues of Autumn. The crisp mornings, warm days and intermittent light rains still encourage the last of the cherry tomatoes and an abundance of herbs - mint, lemon balm, fennel and rosemary to name but a few. The pumpkins are ripening nicely and along with the amaranth flowers, display a stunning contrast to the deeper colours of the earth.
Have you ever noticed that all zucchini’s that you buy at the supermarket are always the same size? I began to think that zucchini’s naturally grow to this size and then stop! However, when you grow them yourself, it’s surprising how large they can get! They don’t stop growing! We have found some astonishingly large zucchini’s growing at our kitchen garden at Riverdale, up to 40cm long! They seem to grow to these large sizes in only a few days! People have always been surprised when we show them our large zucchini’s. It feels as if we are the only people that grow such large ones!
However, recently, I was travelling in the northern Himalayas of India in Ladakh. They live in a moonland desert of mountains covered in rocks without any greenery. The limited water comes from glaciers that they cleverly irrigate into their vegetable gardens. Every household grows their own organic vegetables to sustain themselves, as there is limited food available otherwise. In the main town, women lay out their vegetables on the pavements for sale. To my great delight I saw large zucchinis for sale, just like ours!
It’s amazing how we can find similarities with people and connect on basic things like growing vegetables when we live worlds apart in completely different environments!