Thursday, July 29, 2010

Maybe It's the Power Line

Have you wondered how The Family Garden is doing? Well, it's hard to say. Nearly everything is growing like crazy, and we're getting a bit of a harvest here and there. But most of it is just... weird. Like the cantaloupes we've been so eagerly anticipating. They're huge! But they're orange instead of green. They smell like cantaloupes, but they almost look like pumpkins.

Here's one that fell off the vine while we were away on vacation:
See the deep ridges and the orange tint?

It grew so fat that it split at the bottom, so we were a bit afraid to eat it. Bill and I each took only a dainty bite, but Allyson gobbled her usual portion and said, "More please!" She's still quite healthy, so I guess we should cut up the other one that's hogging fridge space.

The cantaloupe vine is still trying to take over the garden, or maybe the whole backyard. If you look closely at the center of the next picture, you'll see a little green cantaloupe nestled inside the tomatoes' cage:

Speaking of tomatoes, guess what? We finally have some! The tomato vines had grown so bushy on our vacation that they were dragging the ground, so Bill went over to cut them down. But then he saw a good number of fairly normal looking tomatoes like this one:

We might even have enough to make some tomato sauce, if I can figure out when to pick them. Even though they're still small and green, I found beak holes in one of them. Stupid birds! We probably need a scarecrow. You'd think Lola would chase them away, but she's probably too busy barking at the birds on the neighbor's roof to notice the birds plundering the garden.

The potatoes were a big disappointment--make that potato:

The big white bucket was overflowing with lovely green leaves, but when Bill dug it up, there was only this one shriveled potato in all that musty, wormy dirt. I knew we should have followed the complicated instructions I found on the Internet, but Bill assured me all that work wasn't really necessary.

The butternut squash seem to be dying out, though I did harvest enough (five, I think) to make a delicious pureed casserole for Mom's birthday on Sunday. Most of them were small and oddly shaped, but there was one nice fat one. It was so gratifying to say, "Oh, I'm glad you liked the squash. Did I mention it was from our own garden?"

I had thought the squash vine was climbing our photinia hedge, but turns out it's actually the cucumbers. We have one perfect cucumber...
Can You See it in the Middle?
...and then this weird thing that we'll definitely be afraid to eat:

I just don't know what to make of our produce, but Bill has a rather scary theory. There's a giant electric transformer box--or whatever you call it--in the corner of our garden. He says maybe the voltage in there is zapping our veggies and causing mutations. He may be onto something: do you see the red splotches in the picture above? That's where utility workers marked a power line in preparation for digging the pool. Come to think of it, we really have seen several odd vegetables growing in that one spot.

I have a theory of my own. Maybe the pumpkins crossed with the cantaloupe, and the squash crossed with the cucumbers. Is that even possible? Maybe it is if you throw in a strong electric current. 

I was none too pleased when one of the men tromped all through the garden. I don't see why they had to be in there anyway when the pool is at the other end of the yard.

Bill finished his preparations for the excavation yesterday. I could have cried.

Ethan and Tin helped out again, but they weren't nearly so enthusiastic as the last time. When I informed Ethan that Bill needed his help with carrying the limbs to the truck, he whined piteously. "But Mom, it's ho-ot!"

"Exactly. That's why we need to get a pool. And if you don't help, we won't be ready for them to dig the hole."

"But I'm not really the working type."

I burst into laughter. "I'm not the working type either, Ethan." I waved my mop at him. "But when there's work to be done, we just have to do it."

He stalked back into the near 100 degree sun (38 Celsius), grumbling all the way. I did catch him and Tin smiling when it was time to fell one of my last three big trees, but by the time I grabbed my camera, he wore a studied scowl.

I scowled, too, when I saw the end result of their labors:

Look Closely and You Might Spot FIVE Trunks

While I was busy moaning and complaining, Bill was digging ditches, rerouting the sprinkler lines:
In the Background Was My Second-Favorite Tree (After the Departed Cypress)
It better be worth it all. I'll keep you posted.


Melissa Irwin said...

I would love to have a seems so rewarding...when you can recognize the produce. Ha! My mom just made some incredible tomato soup with her tomatos... yum!

Victor S E Moubarak said...

I've never been good with planting vegetables. The apple and pear trees are doing well though! And this year I got a large handful of cherries too.

God bless.


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