Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Victory Garden??!!! We Surrender!

Okay, first off, for those new followers who are expecting Disney stuff (I'm still absolutely floored at the numbers from those voting in the poll...over 440 visits and 865 page views from Monday-Wednesday), never fear! You're still at the right place. This blog is about 75% Disney-related, but I do post family/home updates on occasion. If you're looking for the poll on Disney Podcasts or information on them, look to the right-hand side of the page (the actual blog), and you'll see both a link for the initial post as well as the actual list of podcasts.

Okay, with that disclaimer out of the way, I've given up. The garden wins. Hands down.

First off, as you can see above, the garden is now in cahoots with the lawn. We've gotten tons of rain to go along with a fairly cool summer to get this stuff growing like there's no tomorrow. This garden alone should have reduced the greenhouse effect around the globe by somewhere around 46%.

The primary offensive weapon of choice for this beast is the squash. We probably have 8-10 spaghetti squash...all around 5-6 lbs, and the same number of acorn squash that are a good 2-3 lbs.:

We successfully intercepted and destroyed one of the spaghetti squash this week (tasted awesome, and this is coming from a non-squash eater). While we duck and cover as the garden lobs spaghetti and acorn squash at us, it's the zucchini that we are most worried about. As you will see below, from only 3 plants, we're getting tons of baseball bat-sized squash (okay, not that big, but I think that I could get one about that size if I don't harvest it).

The squash, however, isn't the only assault that we have been fighting off. In the picture below, you will see just some of what we've harvested over the span of 4 days:

Now, this is AFTER we've given over a gallon of green beans to neighbors/friends/family. We've also been giving away onions and a LOT of zucchini. Sheri's been coming up with ideas to try to use all the zucchini...she's made bread, a cake, fried squash, baked with tomatoes and cheese, etc...I think she might be toying with the idea of creating zucchini cereal, sandwiches, and milkshakes.

As for the tomatoes...all those cherry tomatoes are coming from one single Super-sweet 100 plant. Every day, I can easily pull off ten more ripe ones (and I usually eat 5 of them in the garden, which may explain why it's at war with us). This definitely means that we've gotten far more than 100 tomatoes from this plant (I think I have a good case for false advertising). Most of the tomatoes are indeterminate. For those not attuned to gardening vernacular, indeterminate tomato plants produce plants over a wide span of time, having only a couple ripe at any one time. This also means that they just keep on growing. If you look back at the first picture, you'll see that the tomato plants have essentially devoured the cages that were put around them for support. Note: I've been moderately pruning these plants every few days to keep them from growing too didn't matter as the winds have pushed over the cages. Determinate tomatoes, on the other hand, have much smaller plants and set all their fruit at the same time. This is good for those who are into canning. Now, quiz time. We have tons of tomatoes, as shown above. The plants are indeterminate. What's going on here?

The indeterminates are producing an amazing amount of tomatoes!!!! Is it enough to can, though? Nope (I think I hear the garden laughing at us).

We've also probably picked over 3 gallons of green beans...big deal you might say, but this is all coming from 2 seven-foot rows. While I think we've finally beaten down the green beans, I think that, in doing so, we've stirred up the ire of their cousins...the lima beans:

If you look closely, you'll see that there's going to be a lot of shelling of bean pods in our near future. I think this will be a good year to show the boys how to do it! Hey, they loved snapping the ends off of the green beans (at least they did for the first 5 minutes). Residents of Downs, please check your church bulletin for the date and time of the shelling party (zucchini milkshakes will be served for refreshments).

I think the beans (and squash) have also signed a defensive pact with the bees. For those who know me, I used to be a sprinter, but I can't run long-distances for anything (I consider anything over 400 yards to be appropriate for the use of a bike or car). When it comes to bees, however, I can run a 4-minute mile if I see one chasing me. Ask my father - he will attest to this. With all the vegetable vegetation, the bees are loving me. If you look at the center of the pic below, you may be able to see a bumble bee, upside-down, pollinating a cluster of lima blossoms.

Photo taken at 500 yards with maximum zoom

Okay, I'm getting better with bees. That actually was taken at just a couple of feet. Zoomed in for a better look:

It's those @%$^@#%@#$% wasps and hornets that I still do the 4-minute miles with. Luckily there aren't too many of those around here. Bumble bees and honey bees...well, that's a different story as there are usually at least 5 of them in the limas at any given moment. Considering there again are only 2 seven-foot rows, they're going to be close wherever I'm trying to pick. The boys liked picking the green beans (at least they did for the first 5 minutes), but they were freaking out at the occasional Japanese beetle that flew by. With bees, I don't think they'll be in the garden much more until the blossoms are all gone and the pods are set.

I doubt we'll ever have this much success again, so we're enjoying it. Come on'll have to promise to take a zucchini and tomato before you leave!


Christa said...

Holy crap - stop fertilizing that stuff! LOL That's a lot of veggies!

Mush said...

The scary thing is...I haven't put any fertilizer on since early June...just a bit of miracle-Gro off the hose! I've been composting the waste stuff, but that can't account for this. It's crazy!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's an insane amount of produce. I'm impressed and a wee bit jealous. Wish we could drop by and take a few zucchini and tomatoes off your hands.

On another topic, loved the post. Very entertaining!

Ghenghy said...

Whoops, sorry, the "Anonymous" was me.