Feeling like a farmer

Two nights ago, I had a fabulous dinner
– an omelet with steamed asparagus and, the pièce de résistance,
sautéed zucchini and crookneck squash. The best part? The squash
and zucchini came from our garden. And there was enough for
two.
Two nights ago, I had a fabulous dinner – an omelet with steamed asparagus and, the pièce de résistance, sautéed zucchini and crookneck squash. The best part? The squash and zucchini came from our garden. And there was enough for two.

Finally, I feel like a real gardener. No more one-strawberry-a-week harvests for me. No sir. The squash is going to be prolific enough that I feel almost like a full-fledged farmer – although that might be carrying things a little too far.

Yes, it’s a veritable idyll in my back yard. The birds are singing, and the garden is growing. There are little flowers on the honeydew plant, which took a while to get used to its surroundings, but now seems to be doing just fine. There are flowers on our pepper plants as well, although in a frenzy of weeding, I managed to knock loose a tag which differentiated the peppers from each other. Now I’ll just have to wait until they ripen to see what’s what.

And it appears that what I thought was watermelon may actually be cucumber. I have that from a good authority – namely, my boyfriend’s mom – who was also the one who sautéed our little vegetables to perfection. That news about the possible mistaken identity is a slight bummer because I prefer watermelon to cucumber, but ultimately, I’m fine with anything, as long as it grows.

Which is exactly what our transplanted volunteer squash aren’t doing. This past weekend, we moved the squash that had popped up between our myriad tomatoes and were crowding them out. So we dug them up, marveled at how short their root systems were, and plopped them in a hastily prepared plot on the other side of our lawn. By hastily prepared, I mean we pulled up the weeds. I didn’t do any of the double-digging, compost-spreading or fertilizing I so carefully performed in preparing the original bed. But they’re squash, I figured, they’ll pull through.

But a day later, the poor plants had flopped over in misery. I don’t think they feel too well. I gave them a pep talk, and today I may try giving them a little bit of fertilizer – if not to perk them up, then to ease the last moments of their lives.

Ordinarily, I might assume that they were just faking it, and that in a couple of days they would be just fine in their new spot, but I have a sneaking suspicion we accidentally hacked off some of their roots when we dug them up from between the tomatoes.

So, you see, there still exists the specter of death in my garden, threatening to disrupt my pastoral reverie. I’m going to have to get better at transplanting if I’m ever to make it past novice gardener.

If you have tips, questions or comments to share with readers, please send them to [email protected] or call (408) 842-9505.

Leave your comments