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December 9th, 2010

Test Garden Update: Bill Nunes, Gustine, CA

bill_tnI’ve never gone much for pumpkins solely for decoration—no surprise to those who know I haven’t much patience for flowers. But I do appreciate FOOD that is pretty, and the ‘Kumi Kumi’ squash we trialed this year (below) fits my criteria. It’s a beautiful ribbed flattish pumpkin. I suppose I’ll eventually eat it, but for now it’s lovely to look at. I do like to use seasonal produce as table or outdoor decorations. I just like to make sure I eat them before they go bad.

1Our average first frost date is nominally November 4. We were about two weeks later than that this year. Still haven’t made it below 30F as far as I know, although the east side of the valley probably has. We had a series of storms right about the time we hit freezing that brought 1″ of rain, depending on exact location. Then some beautiful end-of-November days that had me out in the garden in a T-shirt. About 1/2″ of rain last week kept me from having to water anything and the winter veggies are all happy as can be.

My season for lettuce is just ramping up right now. I’ve been harvesting one bed of cutting lettuce for a few weeks. There are tried-and-true varieties ‘Red Salad Bowl’ and ‘Tango’. Plus ‘Kweik’, which I haven’t decided if I will harvest for a salad mix or allow to grow for heads (or both). The bed of Organic Gardening test varieties is a bit behind, and I’ve just started cutting them this week.

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