Oh Gourd…. the Horror of Irregular Vegetables

Wonky carrots, undersized parsnips, revolting bolting leeks have all occurred in my vegetable patch this year along with flolloping lolloping sprouts and an epic failure to produce any peas*

You may have noticed a lack of photographic evidence that we even have a vegetable patch, and those more observant regular visitors to the blog may also have wondered vaguely if we actually have a garden as there has never been a picture posted of that either. Well for those more curious amongst you we do indeed have a garden and a veg patch at home, however both suffer from “cobblers children syndrome”. In much the same way as a cobblers children are rarely shod this Designer hasn’t actually found the time to design their own garden and so it is a place for trialling new plants, trying different combinations in an ad hoc wild and oft times weedy fashion.

So why am I telling you this you may wonder, especially as I rarely write wordy posts being time poor with no aspirations to be a writer, but sometimes when I have been thinking about something for a good long while I feel perhaps it may be time to try and put my thoughts down.

Well as I was realising that my butternut squash had again failed to measure up to those available in the supermarket I thought more about supermarkets, the fashion industry and my wordless wednesday pics and the unrelenting pursuit of perfection. Here I was feeling slightly miffed at my own inability to grow a decent sized gourd when supermarkets are full of perfect veg and I’ve always been miffed about skinny girls and chemically enhanced chaps in magazines making people feel thoroughly inadequate about themselves. It suddenly struck me that in only posting those rare snapshots in time when something in the garden it as its peak and cropping out the weeds in the background I am just as guilty of pimping perfection.

Feelings of inadequacy
Feelings of inadequacy

Now that’s not to say that I am suddenly going to start posting pics of my weedy veg patch but it did make me think more about vegetables in general. The amount of fruit and veg wasted because it is judged to be the wrong size or shape is quite horrific, I’m not sure that any supermarket has ever enquired as to my personal preference for a parsnip or potato. If any supermarket is interested I prefer a range of sizes within a batch of carrots, small for stock, med for roast and larger for adding to a spag bol. Saying that this is consumer led is, I feel, only part of the story. I think the uniformity of vegetables is more to do with the mechanisation of production than the pursuit of perfection and the profit margins of producer and retailer, which is why they’re in business after all. Let’s be honest with ourselves if as consumers we demand different sized or shaped veg and are prepared to part with our hard earned cash you can be sure a retailer will supply it and farmer will grow it. So with this in mind I’m going to cut myself some slack and delight in the full range of my own slightly inadequate squash and ask my local supermarket for wonky veg or buy it from an independent greengrocer.

Honey Bear, Queensland Blue, Waltham Butternut, and Hunter
Honey Bear, Queensland Blue, Waltham Butternut, and Hunter in various shapes and sizes

*the peas failed only because I failed to remember to sow them.