Thursday, 27 October 2011

Plump Pumpkins and Gaudy Gourds

For urban gardeners, Polish celebration of Halloween is perfectly timed for the cusp between autumn and winter, literally celebrating the fruits of the growing year.

From 2011 10

Driving along the Piaseczno / Nadarzyn road you suddenly come across a group of some seven or eight stalls of bright orange pumpkins, shining out like the early morning sun, bringing a haze of colour to an otherwise drab landscape.

The road is aptly named Sunny (Słoneczna - the 721), with the pumpkin fields lying behind the houses at the front. Although it is quite common to come across a single or a pair of stalls around Warsaw, the collection on this road makes it exceptionally attractive, both in terms of looks and stopping to buy. The one we mainly used had the added advantage of having a small car park.

There is all the witch stuff and trick-or-treat for young kids and a restaurant night out for those who want it (and pubs, I guess, if you have one near you). However, it is the display of colour that I value most, surviving the frosts and giving a warm welcome, as night takes over from day and grey increasingly engulfs us in anticipation of the monotones of snow.

I didn't look around for value for money, so I don't know how fair the price is, but this lot came to 95 zloties. Very big ones at this stall were 100zl, although the quote at one of the others was 1,000zl: it may have been slightly bigger, but not much. I presume they are cheaper in the supermarkets, but I have never seen the range of colours and shapes that the growers sell by the road.

We have asked in other places in previous years whether the fruit is edible and the answer has generally been 'yes'. Not that we've actually eaten them, though.

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