Black Thumb

Aug 02,2012

I once tried to have a rock garden, and all the rocks died. But seriously, folks, the vegetable patch really went to heck this time. Nothing much else is happening around here lately, it being the end of the academic year, and I have time to catch up on things I've been neglecting. That includes the hypothetical crops, which is what it seems I'm writing about today.

The zucchini suffered the worst. I was told many months ago that I'd have so many zucchini I'd have to force them on people to get rid of them, but it didn't quite work out that way. Out of six plants, we had a few puny runts we were able to eat ourselves, but the rest was a tragedy of wilting yellowed and dried-up dead leaves, with what few of them left skeletonized by swarms of relentless orange beetles we're still trying to figure out the name of. The kabocha plants keeled over one by one, with only one out of our four plants ever producing a fruit. It was about the size of a tennis ball, and we decided to cut it off and put the plant out of its misery before the fruit itself got any yellower. Today was its funeral. We cut it up the edible parts of it and ate it in lentil curry along with juicy zucchini and carrots that tasted great because they were grown by professionals.

There is hope, though, in the bountiful tomato and herb crop, and the goya that are plumping up on the vine just outside the living room window. If we can manage to keep these alive through the season, we can probably hope to do better with them next year. As for zucchini and kabocha, we should probably give those up unless somebody reading this happens to know what kind of pest or pestilence might wreak havoc on that sort of plant in this locale, and can give some advice.

Come autumn, we shall tempt fate again and attempt to grow garlic.

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