Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lovely Lakota

Lakota squash have an appeal that extends beyond their use as food. They make a great addition to the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving table. And because they are a winter squash, they keep for months. I recommend growing them to anyone who has the space for the vines, which can extend to six feet or more.

Friday, September 26, 2014

And I Almost Forgot...

While I was waxing poetic about the myriad ways in which banana peppers could be eaten and used in an earlier post, I forgot to mention that they can also be pickled. How careless of me!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

All In Good Time

Thanks to a summer that has been far cooler and wetter than normal, the melons in the garden have taken their own sweet time(pun intended) to grow and ripen. However, as the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait. And it has been well worth the wait. I thought the lack of ninety degree days and sunshine would have an adverse effect on the taste of this season's crop. I was wrong. These are some of the sweetest melons I've ever grown. My only complaint is that there might have been more of them to harvest if the weather had been more cooperative. Well, in the immortal words of Mick Jagger, "You can't always get what you want." But thankfully, I can truly say I'm happy with what nature provided despite adverse conditions.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Race To The Frost Line

Normally, we don't get frost here until the middle of October. However, nothing has been normal about this growing season, which started late because it was cooler than normal thru May and into June. And now it's been cooler in September than it should be on average. It will be a real race to see if my butternut squash plant will mature before Jack Frost makes his appearance. I've got my fingers and toes crossed!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Flavorful Rainbow

Fragrant, flavorful, fantastic, fresh banana peppers come in many colors and are extremely versatile. They can be used in salads, soups, stews, casseroles and stir fry dishes. They can be boiled, baked, fried, roasted or eaten raw. I can't get enough of them. This year I more than doubled the number of containers devoted to growing them. And I'm glad I did! And I can't wait to do it again next year!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cheap Eats

Some may look at my garden and wonder why anyone would go to the expense and trouble of growing something that could be picked up at the nearest grocery store. Well, the fact is that truly fresh produce tastes far better than anything you're likely to buy at most grocery stores. And then there is the matter of frugality.

I know that's something that most people find hard to understand. "Don't those plants require water and fertilizer?", they ask. Most certainly they do. But how are those things major expenses when you use mainly captured rainwater and make your own fertilizer from food scraps and plant matter using a composter? And when you lasagna garden, you don't even need potting soil or top soil because the decomposition of leaves, grass and other organic matter you've gathered from Mother Nature provides your planting medium.

Summer squash are selling for an average of a dollar a pound in local stores in our area. So far I've pulled the equivalent of more than $20 in produce from the plant in the picture shown above and there is still more to come.

I get delicious, fresh produce and pay pennies for it. What can be bad about that?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Attack Of The Mystery Squash

Last year, I saved some seeds from a bush delicata squash. I planted several of them this year and put out three plants. Two of the plants have developed along normal lines, but the third has produced what you see in the photo above. If you compare these squash to average bush delicata, you see they are quite different in appearance.

I have sent this photo to different sites on the web and many people have suggested that it is a patty pan type of squash. However, I've never planted patty pan squash and this squash doesn't really have the scalloped shape so common for patty pan. Besides, how could a patty pan seed get into the delicata seeds I collected? I've never planted the patty pan type nor have I ever borrowed any patty pan seeds from another gardener. So I have a mystery on my hands. And I have begun to wonder.

Could this be some sort of strange, mutant, Audrey Rose squash? Is it just the vanguard of an invading army of alien squash sent to take over the gardens of Earth? Or is it something even more sinister? Will the bulbous fruits grow so large that they will produce pseudo-humans who will move among us and infiltrate our society? Is the end of life as we know it at hand? Stay tuned to this blog to find out.