A Tragedy and a Triumph

It is with great sadness that I have to report the loss of so many promising vegetables. The squash I once thought would be bountiful has succombed to the dreaded squash bug.

I first noticed it when the leaves started to turn yellow. I looked and looked but could see no sign of them. I thought maybe it was the vine borer. If only I had planted butternut squash first! This lovely squash is not only delicious, but naturally resistant to the vine borer and therefore repels them. But, it was not the vine borer.

I finally saw the white bugs climbing all over the squash vines while looking for ripe fruit. I attacked them with the bug vacuum, probably looking (and sounding) like a crazy person as I flailed my arms and shouted.

This is truly a tragedy. Perhaps, if I had not been so overly confident in my prediction of an abundant future harvest, the squash bugs would have left my squash alone. We will never know. Next year, I will be more cautious in my exclamations.

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On the flip-side, the cherry and apple trees in the swale are rocking it. We’ve had a nice rainy season so I’ve rarely had to water these. The swale is doing all of the work for me by slowly releasing the water into the berm after a soaking rain.

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We won’t have fruit this year, but next year I’m hopeful that we’ll see a few cherries…if they survive the winter.

I found more strange squash in the tuber mound. It has overtaken the vine peach and choked out the okra I planted there. This is a volunteer…and I think it is more spacorn (spaghetti/acorn hybrid, pronounced “spay-corn” and accidentally created by yours truly), but it doesn’t have the marked ridges of spacorn so we might have another new variety!

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Randomly, in the pumpkin bed that has been ravaged by the squash bugs, we have a couple stalks of corn growing. I’m not sure if it is seed from the
snowball popcorn I planted–dropped by birds or blown by wind–but it’s exciting to see something surviving the attack.

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There are some teeny tiny watermelon growing in among the nasturtiums in the melon bed. For some reason, the melons never really grew too big. I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t growing. I felt frustrated.

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Then, I looked back at a previous post and had a hand-smack-to-the-head moment. I planted sugar baby watermelon! It didn’t produce at all last year so I had forgotten that they stay small with 6-12 lb fruit ranging from 7-8.5” and perfectly round. They are very sweet, supposedly, so I am super excited to try them!

Speaking of teeny tiny, in our CSA pick-up this week, I received these three squash. Ray commented that it was pretty “bold” of them to put these in the mix, but they are actually a cute variety of squash good pan fried or added to an antipasto salad or platter.

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And in the vineyard…the hops and the grapes continue to thrive.

The hop flowers are getting bigger and the grapevines are spreading out.

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Our harvest one day this week: purple beans, cherry tomatoes, beets and black prince tomatoes. YUM!

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A lone lilac grows
The other looks lonely, sad
Grow sweet lilac, grow

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4 responses to “A Tragedy and a Triumph

  1. I love black prince tomatoes. Sorry about your squash.
    How did you find out that those squash were suppose to be teeny tiny.

  2. Pingback: Happy Updates on the Fall Garden | a pinch of homestead

  3. Pingback: Looking Back | a pinch of homestead

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