Archives for posts with tag: Hokkari

We sowed 3 trays of pumpkins (hokkari, uchiki kuri etc.) and one of sweet corn. 

  
It’s early, but the weather is conducive. I’ll take them in tonight for warmth to get better germination then out again later. 

This weather should hold for the next 10 days. 

It has been very windy and dry weather the last few weeks. I try to avoid it, but I’ve had to water almost every evening. Now it has rained 9 millimeters anyway, so I’ve taken a break from painting the house, tilled the pumpkin patch and started to plant out the various pumpkins, squashes and maize.

Many vegetables have a slightly longer growing season than these northern climes allow. We start the plants indoors, some as early as the last week of April and others as late as mid May and take outside when weather permits.

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When the risk of frost is over, we plant them out in a new tilled field.

Here is our procedure for kabotcha, Japanese pumpkins:
First we dig holes starting from the center of the crop circle spiraling outwards. We space them about one meter from each other and dig about one spade deep and wide. We put a spadefull of compost or old manure in each hole, fill with water, cover with dirt, claw out a hole and put a pumpkin plant in. A little more water is good, as well as packing with some more dirt to keep the plant from blowing around too much in the wind, which is a constant problem around here.

If you have only a few plants, putting them directly on the compost works great.

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We spent another Saturday morning at Fyris Market in Uppsala. I’m quite surprised at what sells. This time it was miso (a 2 year rice miso) along with japanese hokkari pumpkins in conjunction with an explanation on how to make pumpkin miso soup. Sauerkraut went well too.

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Pumpkin harvest

I usually wait until after the first heavy frost of the fall to harvest all the pumpkins and the rest of the sensitive crops. We haven’t had it yet, and I’m becoming impatient, so I’ve started gradually taking them in.

Our favorite pumpkin is the japanese hokkari (often called hokkaido pumpkin). I get seeds from japanese friends that travel back and forth between Sweden and Japan. I also have some seeds from China (a pumpkin named lixiu I believe) via internet that are indistinguishable from the japanese ones. These are F1 hybrids so I can’t save my own seeds. I try to avoid hybrids but these have a far superior flavour to anything similar.

Also seen in this picture is uchiki kuri, turban, kroshka, table king acorn, sweet meat and an unnamed small white pumpkin that has a bland taste like a potato. I grow jacko-lantern pumpkins too but they tend to not ripen to a nice orange color until later.

Then there are the nonhybrid offspring from the hokkari that grow on the compost with an inferior flavour. The flavour deteriorates from year to year if I save the seeds.

The pumpkins grew and ripened very well this year. The hokkari were half the usual size and I’m not sure why. It could be because I don’t fertilize much, but it could also have been the weather which was cool, wet and cloudy. They certainly could have used more sunshine. Anyway, the smaller size is very much appreciated by all because they take up much less space in storage. And when cooking there are not as many pieces left that need be to put in the refrigerator.