The garden is at the stage where you really have to almost swim through it. The vines have gotten larger than I imagined they would – the watermelons have filled what I thought was a super generous space and are attacking the cucumbers. The casaba melons are infiltrating the lima beans. There’s a pumpkin vine running along the top of one of the tomato trellises. The other day I almost didn’t make it through a tough patch of the zucchino rampicante with the heavy vegetable basket, and Rose was almost swallowed up trying to follow me.
The pumpkins are ripening! The one Selma Thander’s Sweet Potato vine made six of their little creamy colored acorn-style squash. I haven’t grown this squash for a couple of years now, wanting to try some new varieties (there are so many pumpkins, and I have yet to come up with a really great, reliable few to grow), and I am so excited to have them back. The beans are also beginning to come it. Funny, the Roma beans and Asian long beans are both ready at the same time this year! I think the virus that the Roma beans got really set them back as far as flowering.
The peppers are also needing to be picked. I’m afraid I accidentally set off my friend Karl’s hot pepper ego the other day when I tried to give him a few of the Czechoslovakian black peppers, saying they were not terribly spicy, but just had a touch of spice, but if you take the seeds out it is almost a sweet pepper. That inspired him to take a tiny bite of the least-spicy part and go on and on to me about how wimpy I was if I thought that was a hot pepper and an exhaustive list of all the peppers HE likes to eat. Sheesh! Some people! I am so tempted to grow some ghost peppers next year and make a special, completely inedible hot sauce just for him, and invite him over to dinner so we can watch him turn purple while he tries to say how not-spicy the sauce is. Well, maybe that would be mean. But he would definitely deserve it.
This is my table right now! Not much room for using it for dinner…
Not to mention the ripening tomatoes on the coffee table. It had to be moved into the big kids’ room because of a certain toddler who does unspeakable things with them. I think in my anxiety to feed the family this year, I totally over-planted the garden. It’s not just the cucumbers. I’ve been trying to push the extras on my friends and family, and just last night gave my mom a big lecture on how she needs to eat more vegetables because they have not managed to get through all the tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and eggplants I gave them a few days ago. I ended by saying ominously, “We have more waiting for you, you know.”
Ethan suggested that we should make WWII-style motivational posters with the words “Lazy Lips Sink Ships” over a picture of a ship struggling under a huge marrow squash or cucumber.