Friday, June 13, 2008

Adopt a Crop update: We are learning and finding things.

I'm sticking to the only rule I've managed to follow so far with Adopt a Crop, which is that we talk about the Adopted Crop first.

Otherwise I realize that this has taken on a somewhat haphazard style, as is my tendency with garden-type things. You like this!

Wee Man, as he's become known to me as I've negotiated my forest of a garden, is doing really well. Even though he's totally getting his turfed moved in on by the nasturtium and borage, he's putting out blooms AND tiny cucumbers anyway. He is small but mighty.

I don't have a name for the big cucumber (planted as a seedling thank you), but I probably should because he's already responsible for some good salads and will likely be the first one to make pickles. Well, I'll make the pickles. But you know that. Anyway, he needs a name. Anyone? Ideas? These do not need to be Family Safe suggestions. Be naughty with me!

Not only do these plants not have names, they also were not put in the garden by my own two hands (at least not this year), so they don't have permanent homes. What we have here is the great and fun garden surprise known as Volunteers. Specifically, a volunteer Better Boy tomato which is already producing tomatoes even without my careful mother henning and a volunteer pumpkin of some variety that is putting out about a leaf a day.

Wee! I found things!

And because I love tomatoes and pumpkins more than I love the Ronde di Italia squash that is expanding with the obvious intention of moving into our guest room, I have made the executive decision to pull the squash (oh yes, I'm that frivolous - I will pull a live producing plant, people - CRAZY) so that I can stake the tomato and give the pumpkin and currently MIA midget cantaloupe some room to breathe.

Do you see what I mean here? This is downright alarming. The basil is totally nervous in this picture here. Like the squash is the StayPuff Marshmallow Man towering over the skyscrapers except without the demonic possession and all (or is it?).

Either way, as the Big Boss Man of my garden, I'm harvesting all the remaining squash and then pulling it (carefully) from the garden so the other guys stand a chance.

Like my friend the midget cantaloupe here. He is trying so hard, making the tiny fruits, meanwhile the squash with its million bugs that I have to handpick off due to the organic no-nuke situation, is crawling over his head and making life uncomfortable for everyone. Especially me, since it looks like I might also be allergic to its spiny leaves because every time I come back inside from a bug killing session my arms are all covered in red bumps thanks to the spiny leaves.

NO MORE. This weekend it dies. And then the cantaloupe, mystery pumpkin and New Tomato Yay! can live.

I am so the boss of my garden.

Speaking of tomatoes (was I speaking of tomatoes? I don't remember), doesn't the one on the right here almost look like it might be turning yellowish orange-ish? I think so. It makes me happy to think so, so I'd warn against disagreeing with me here. Tomatoes soon!

Another phenom we have moving through the garden with an ambitious pace is the nasturtium. I will admit that it's my fault for planting so much knowing full well that it would reseed from last year and that I'd probably end up with a city block of it if I wasn't careful.

Which I was not.

But thankfully mom was out last weekend and helped me understand a thing that is probably obvious and well-known to everyone but me: nasturtiums make great cut flowers.

You laugh, but I didn't know this. I thought they'd just shrivel and make a gooey mess, but no. They are actually quite nice when you yank them free from the garden while trying to make room for the cucumber, chuck them sorta sadly into the compost heap and then watch your mom scamper over and rescue them so you can put them in a squat vase on the dining room table.


Much like the strawberries that are perennials (oh, so I shouldn't pull them out of the garden at the end of the season with the tomatoes?) and the parsley that's a biennial (oh, so I'm not a genius gardener for having parsley that overwinters?), I now know that nasturtiums are more than just a cucumber beetle fighter and good in salad. Thank you mom, for that. There you go always making me less stupid! Thank you!

They are my new summertime centerpiece.
Wee! I learned a thing!

And in the name of being thorough and also sharing more of the photos I've taken while my neighbors roll their eyes:

We're coming into another round of strawberries.

The beans are climbing up the pea polls. Porny.

The lettuce is trying to bolt but I won't let it.

We have radishes and no flea beetles. Miracle? No - soapy water.

And my big TWO beets are doing fine. Except for the little one there that got trampled by the dog. Whoopsy! I am not doing well with the beet care-giving, I'll admit. Perhaps I harvest them soon and give up until next year when I can better focus my attentions on keeping the dog from chasing her ball into the garden. Or I can work on my throwing techniques since I think I might still throw like a girl. Which is to say that while I may throw it overhand, it still goes every which way and that usually means right into the garden so I have to go chasing after the dog screaming NO NO NO Not in the beds and then she jumps on the beet and I have to not cry or scold the dog.
Anyway, two beets are alive and that is the beet update.

Next time I will share another Chard Killer recipe which was good, easy and used up a lot of the pretty chard that didn't get any air time during this crop update because, well, it just didn't.


  1. I am sincerely jealous. In ohio we are ages behind you guys. My guarden looks like it hasn't hit puberty and yours looks like the prom queen. Vavavavoom.

  2. How come reading your blog makes me crave salad? Quite mysterious. I mean it's not like you're talking about veggies or anything, is it?

    By the way, I think you should name the big cucumber "Fluffy." Just because.

  3. NO!!! Not the squash! Can't he just have a haircut? It's a concession for having a beet meet his demise due to the dog. You seriously have an awesome garden Finny! Now, for a cuke name, I'm going with WallyWang.

  4. I'm thinking Dickle. Or, if not Dickle, how about Mr. Happy? Hey, you said you wanted bad! By the way, my tiny backyard garden in Louisville, Kentucky doesn't look nearly as good as yours. That makes you a garden ho. Get it? hee-hee ;>)

  5. Oops, my name isn't really Anonymous (although I do seem to recall seeing that name in the family bible . . . maybe a distant relative?), I just forgot to type in my name (Duh).

  6. You've got some great looking tomatoes!

    I bet you're gonna have big melons.

    Nope, can't think of anything dirty to say about your cucumber...I'm not a dirty perv like that.

    I'd love to bury my nose in your nasturtiums.


    What, are nasturtium's THAT bad about volunteering? UH OH. We have a big hill at the back of our yard, formed during the lawn installation, covered in wild grasses and other weeds - and last week I planted all my spare nasturtium plants into it. Most are surviving, some aren't - none are taking off yet, but my intention is for it to become one big mound of nasturtium leaves and flowers!

    And, btw, OH. MY. GOD! That Ronde di Italia really does need to be euthanized! That's some seriously crazy insane growth. LOOK at all the leaf stalks originating from it. Very scary!!

    How about Mr Prickles for the cuke plant?

  7. PS How do you STOP a lettuce plant from bolting? Just take the top off? Is the flavor of the leaves still bitter even if you lop off the bolting part?


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.