Farm Life, Squashed

P1050751You have probably heared summer gardening jokes about dumping zucchini on someone else.  You know, leave a basket of baseball bat sized zucchine at someone’s door, ring the bell and run.  Sneak over to their car and fill the driver’s seat with yellow crook neck squash.  The issue is that if you grow squash, summer or winter varieties, you will have more than you can consume or find willing recipients for.  And, once you have grown squash, the blemish will show up year after year, regardless of whether you plant it again.

P1050758Now, do not conclude that I dislike squash.  Yellow, green, bi-color, orange.  I love all the colors on my plate, decoratively, during the Fall months.  In winter, load my soup bowl with pumpkin soup, and mix spagghetti squash into my pasta.  We even put it into our Dog Stew.  Bella and Tippy love squash.

P1050752We grew various types of squash for years, until too many squash bettles and vine borers began to ruin the crop each year.  A few years ago, we stopped planting squash to see if a few seasons without would rid our garden of the pests.  We figured that squash is pretty easy to buy at the farmer’s market.  The farmers can contend with planting, tending, and harvesting.

However, every year, squash plants slip a few seeds into our compost and regenerate harvest.  We keep track of where the large, green leaves show up.  Some are misplaced.  Others find a nice spot.  Those that come up near the edge of the garden toward the field, we direct to grow into the field.  Come harvest time, P1050753we follow the vines into the goldenrod, tansey, joe-pye weed, and phlox.  Take two wheel barrels.  One collects the squash, the other the vines to discard.  This year, a couple of vines found their way into and up a dogwood tree.  Hmmm.  How do you harvest gords fifteen feet up?

If you are in mind for a pratical joke, the Vicar’s Dad told me once that he understood the principle of over-supply of squash at an early age.  During World War II, he would sneak around the neighborhood, planting pumpkin seeds in folk’s Victory Gardens.  The seedlings would sprout.  He would watch to see who did not know that soon their gardens would be taken over.  They were SQUASHED.


About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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4 Responses to Farm Life, Squashed

  1. The Vicar says:

    That’s a lot of squash! I asked “the Vicar’s Dad” to recount the intersection of his youth and squash over our Labor Day weekend together, but he was either not in a mood to communicate about his youthful exploits, or was not wearing his hearing aids. Perhaps he will read the post and elaborate.

    • hermitsdoor says:

      Before heading west, I collect 31 spaghetti squash that had ripened on the deck and put them downstairs. There are at least that many plus an half again ripening while we are away. And, I gave away 3 boxes already (left one in the front seat of a friend’s car). Oh, my suitcase is full of spaghetti squash. Don’t blink, you might get squashed soon 🙂

  2. Mother Suzanna says:

    The wife of the Vicar’s Dad has a pumpkin story. A friend who grew LARGE pumpkins to enter at the Half Moon Bay Yearly Pumpkin Festival gave me TWO seeds from his previous year’s 400 lb pumpkin. Not having room to grow them in our yard, I got permission from the neighbor with no front yard landscaping, to plant them in their front yard. I posted signs for the neighbors to watch the giant pumpkins grow! Even the postman became a fan. We all cheered when the first sprout showed up and then the second. Time passed and the plants began to spread over the yard and then the first blooms opened out! Which really brought out the lookers!! Great care was taken to protect the tender blossoms! (Like signs to keep your children and pets out of the pumpkin patch!) And finally one of the vines began to show its stuff! And we found out we were growing cantaloupe!!! We never did figure out “what happened”.

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