Monday, July 25, 2011

Corn, cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes

Now that I've caught up from last week's complete waste - specifically, I'm talking about 4 days wasted practicing and then going to a rehearsals for a show that I was fired from, days that didn't get any cooking, cleaning, laundry or shopping accomplished - I was able to get outside today and go on a veggie hunt. It was exciting to see all the growth I missed last week! Such beautiful things have appeared over 7 days!

The corn is a towering 8 feet tall.  There are a few stalk that have silks coming out, and where there are silks, there are ears of corn! I'll need to spray them soon to keep the worms and other wretched things out so that we can actually enjoy eating the fruits of our labor. Underneath the enormous leaves and stalks are 3 squash vines. I originally thought that I had planted pattypan squash, because that's what the package said, but strangely enough, the fruit I harvested off one of the vines today was NOT pattypan squash at all! It's a jack-be-little gourd! Well, that's just fine, because the other vines do have pattypans on them, and I love unexpected surprises.

I planted the squash because I read that it is a Native American technique that works really well. Planting corn, beans and squash all together provide all three plants with vital nutrients, supports and water retention. It has worked brilliantly! The other thing I have noticed is that my zucchini and pumpkins are struggling with powdery mildew, which I have to spray almost every day. But the squash that is planted with the corn has not had a speck of powdery mildew. Coincidence? I think not.

The tomatoes are FINALLY turning red!! Whew, I thought I was going to go out of my mind waiting! Just one so far, but the others will follow suit soon. It looks kind of funny all by itself though doesn't it? :)  The last 7 days have been insanely hot and humid - perfect tomato weather.

There are tons of zucchini and I'm going to have to make zucchini pickles sometimes this week. I've never tried them, but I'll be using Grandma Betty's recipe. I'm also going to be on the hunt for unusual zucchini recipes. There HAS to be something besides zucchini bread to make with these lovely green squashes! I'll make pickles of course, and I have been working on a recipe of my own that involves stuffing these guys with cheese and sausage. My vegan and vegetarian recipe books are about to get a serious scouring for zucchini recipes.

Last but not least, there are the tiniest starts of cucumbers now! Sweet pickle recipes to be attempted soon!

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