Real Men Sow

Four Ways that Squashes are Better Than Adidas Sambas


A few weeks ago, I spent a very therapeutic afternoon tidying up my shed. Whilst clearing out a shelf, I came across a pleasant surprise – a beautiful Turk’s Turban squash, from last year’s crop. The fruit was still intact, and looked just as stunning as it did when I harvested last September.

I kept the squash in the shed, and it is now officially a year old, which just goes to show what amazing keepers these great vegetables make.

What’s more, they have outlasted a pair of shoes I bought last year. Yep, my Adidas Samba trainers are shot. Despite their ‘…textured toe bumper with a stitched heel’, and the ‘…moulded outsole for use on every day surfaces’, the trainers have been outlasted by a vegetable.

That got me thinking. In what ways are Turk’s Turban squashes better than a pair of shoes…

Value for money / cost
Turks Turban seeds are available for about £2.50 a pack, and normally you can expect a couple of fruits per plant if they’re treated well and we’re lucky enough to get a fair summer.

Here’s the thing though: squashes are expensive in the shops, as much as £2 a kilo. With most fruits weighing about 1.5kg, four plants will give you a crop worth well over twenty quid.

Adidas Sambas are over twice as much at £45, and to be fair I’ve worn them at some point every day for a year, which works out at 12p a day.

Oh, go on we’ll call that a draw.

Another smashing squash attribute is its versatility. I’m not sure there is anything culinary you can’t do with it. Since I’ve been growing squash, I’ve used it in lasagne, salad, curry, soup, risotto, pasta, falafels and on pizza. I’ve stuffed them, and even made muffins.

I’ve also found all types of squashes a super and longer lasting alternative to the potatoes, making wedges and mash, as well as roasting it. Most squashes will contribute to two meals as well.

You can only wear Adidas Sambas on your feet. You can use them to play football, work in the garden, wear them to the pub and generally knock about in them. You definitely can’t do anything as good as make a cake with a pair though, and on that basis we’ll give this one to the Turk’s Turban.

Turks Turbans are the most remarkable looking vegetable. I was over the moon when I grew them first time around, and received both admiring and confused glances from neighbouring plotholders.

The plants look so pretty as well. The flowers, the vines and the fruits make really eye-catching features on my allotment.

Of course, Adidas Sambas are a style icon in the UK. Britpop-tastic, a trainer that has never gone out of fashion.

However, I don’t get stopped in the streets by people looking at my Sambas like people stop me at the plots to ask about my Turks Turban.

Winner: TT.

Well, that’s an easy one. I reckon the squash is easily still edible. My Sambas are in bits though. :(

Of course, this is a slightly tongue in cheek post, but hopefully it goes to prove that squashes are ace in so many ways. I’ve grown different varieties since I took on my first allotment, and if I had to choose just one vegetable to grow, the squash would be a serious contender.

If you’d also like to give squashes a chance to outlast a pair of your shoes, here are 5 varieties I’d recommend.

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One Comment

  1. SparrowgrassOctober 6, 2015 at 6:49 amReply

    I agree….easy to grow, planted into a manure-heavy pit and kept well watered. I only had 2 Autumn Crown plants this year, stuck into the plot at random points and they have each produced a couple of fruits, which is all we need. A neighbour grows her squash on a frame, so they don’t always need much space as you might think.

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meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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