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Trouble In Paradise

First, the bad news … Every single squash and zucchini plant (except one) in my garden is D.E.A.D.  No photos.  I couldn’t look at the withered leaves and the centipedes crawling all over the fruit.  Ugh.

The corn?  Practically flattened by a few days of strong, quick afternoon thunderstorms.   They are propped back up with stakes and string, but I’m not sure they have much of a future.  I feel like Ma in the Little House series when the thunderstorm has flattened the wheat or when the grasshoppers have eaten every green thing on the prairie and they aren’t sure what they are going to harvest this year.  Luckily I can go the farmer’s market or the grocery store.  Poor Ma must have battled some serious stress as a pioneer wife.

The green beans…notice they aren’t very green?  And my cucumbers are at once bloated and anemic.  We have a water issue.  I guess the daily rains are not providing quite enough moisture the garden, so I got the hose out this morning for a good long meditative manual soaking.  At least the unusual cool weather today is nice treat.  It was just sixty degrees and a record low for Atlanta today.  I’m sure this is a brief respite in all the standard southern summer heat.

beans & cucumbers need water 7.9.14

Now, the good news … while buying some squash from my local farm stop, I was moaning about my sudden squash death and a friend of the farmer confided an important squash tip.  Apparently, it’s a little known fact that in the South it’s very difficult to grow squash organically.  The farm trick is to plant seedlings every two weeks so that when the vegetable flowers and fruits once, they can be harvested, then pulled and tossed on the compost pile.  I felt so vindicated!  For years I’ve been trying to baby my summer squash plants through the summer, each year feeling like a failure when they are simply gone one fine summer morning with no warning.  Now instead of Ma, I’m feeling much more like Scarlett O’Hara, tomorrow (or in my case, next spring) is another day!

UPDATE:  Came across this excellent article for controlling squash bugs today … Excuse me while I grab some duct tape and head out to check my remaining squash plant…

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Gardening, Musings, The Daily Bucket

 

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Fruits of Our Labor

Since a picture is worth a thousand words here is a glimpse beyond my garden gate …

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Today we are picking lots of green beans, Kirby cucumbers and Abraham Darby roses.

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The corn is definitely “knee high by the fourth of July”.

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The squash is a little too small to pick, but we have a dozen plants happily growing.  We should be overrun soon!  Of course I spot a tiny bit of powdery mildew so maybe not!

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I think eggplant is the most gorgeous veggie in the garden.

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These are the reasons we compost all year long … literally the fruits of our labors.  Happy gardening!  Happy summer!

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in Gardening, Musings

 

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Rainy Day Double Buckets

The good news: it feels like summer at last with lots of fresh fruits & veggies filling the fridge.  The bad news: it’s raining, so instead of all that gorgeous produce, my body’s craving comfort food like … soup.  I love how random ingredients easily transform into just what we want, like Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder.  Hooray for soup.

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Sorry this is blurry.  It was really rainy.  Things you can see (clockwise from top):

Top Bucket:  Corn husks & slimy, old watermelon (Note to self: we don’t eat giant quantities of watermelon.  Stop buying whole melons!)

Bottom Bucket:

  • Red pepper core & slice
  • A random leaf
  • Barely visible onion skins
  • Carrot scrapings
  • Half of a fingerling potato nestled in the scrapings
  • Watermelon rind (towards the middle)
  • Lots of black papaya seeds and papaya skin
  • Two pieces extremely yucky looking partially frozen banana
  • Banana peel

What you can’t see in the bottom bucket:

  • More papaya peel. Or is it skin? Or rind? Whatever it is there is lots of it underneath.

What I made with all of that:

  • Papaya & lime for breakfast
  • Watermelon to go with grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder which used everything in the bucket but the fruit …
 
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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in The Daily Bucket

 

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