Sunday, August 10, 2008
This month the Kabocha are getting ripe. Introduced by the Portugese in the 16th Century from Cambodia, its is the commonest member of the squash family in Japan. My riverside garden has unused land on 3 sides, so I plant kabocha along the edges and let it spread into the waste land. Wild boars and monkeys like the young fruit, but neither go down to the riverside gardens.
Known as Tomorokoshi in Japanese, the yellow sweetcorn is the only kind of maize grown in Japan. My first year here I grew a crop of Navajo blue corn, and probably will return to it for next year. It was probably introduced in the late 18th Century. Roasted corn ears are a popular matsuri food. Japan is the world's largest importer of corn for animal feed.
Zuccini (or courgette) has given me problems for years. An orange bug has destroyed my crops each year. This year I grew the plants under net until the rainy season passed, and so far so good, I'm harvesting. You can find zuccini in the supermarket, but its not very common. No-one else in my village grows it.