Thursday, August 1, 2013

first fruit

Pattypan squash is my favorite summer squash, and I can't always find it at the local farm stands.

So this year, I bought three organic seedlings as soon as they were available at the feed store, then waited and waited and waited  for the weather to warm up enough and dry up enough to plant them.

My nagging fear was that I would somehow manage to kill the little plants before I could get them in the ground.

There is some historical basis for this fear, I am very sorry to say.

On 25 May, I planted the three squash, each alongside reputedly protective companion plants: pot marigolds and calendula.

As you can plainly see, I miscalculated the "companionable" factor to an absurd degree, and planted them way too close together.  Not sure what my thought process was, there. Maybe I was picturing the protective marigold having to physically rear back and thump a caterpillar on the head if called upon to do so.

Note: I have since gently relocated some of these brave guardians, to their very obvious relief. It is impossible to grow sideways fast enough and far enough to escape the shade of a squash-leaf canopy!

This pattypan variety is said to produce deep yellow squash with dark green caps.  I waited to see some yellow before picking this squash, but it was growing so large I didn't want to wait any longer and risk toughness or hard seeds.

Or a flood or drought or insects or a tornado landing on my garden.

Some of these things have happened before.

But not this morning!

At this exciting moment moment of harvest, Sambucus suddenly turned away from the hay feeder - and the Closing Soon Milk Bar - and headed toward me with a purposeful step.

"Pardon me, ma'am! Do not proceed further. I must examine that squash immediately."

Have you ever crossed a border where the guards were required to examine any fruit or vegetables before allowing you to enter their territory? It was just like that.

"Glad the kid has finally got a job! This hanging around the Milk Bar is getting old. I need some time off to focus on...well, hay."

I know what you mean, Violet. I also had a delicious breakfast today, and paid attention to every bite.