Thursday, August 19, 2010

Up on the farm

After our trip to New England I came home and watered the farm in the dark and it all seemed OK. In the light of day, however, the cucumbers were revealed to be stricken. Does anything look as awful as a dessicated, mildewed cucumber vine? I watered and watered, and picked off all the dead. I think it felt better afterwards, more dignified, and I believe it will bounce back. Question is, how many more cucumbers can we eat??? I don't even think they are very high on the nutritional scale. Let me go and look. Hang on.


Huh. Touted as good source of potassium, but half a cup gives you 2% of your RDA of potassium. Same serving of banana gives you 12%. One head of Belgian endive? 46%.

In case you're interested. It sounds as though all the good stuff - fibre, vitamins - is in the skin, too, which we seldom eat.

Whatever. They stay. For the time being.

The green peppers, in contrast, were loudly lush and healthy. I hope they will turn red. Only one fruit so far, oddly, and green pepper is possibly the only food I dislike. Why grow them? Hoping for redness.

The courgette/zucchini still happy. The other plant has produced only male flowers, not a single fruit. Is that normal?

The patio tomato has at last set fruit. No electric toothbrush pollination necessary - which is just as well, since I don't have one (nor any fillings, in case you're tsk-tsk'ing)...

The big change is the Italian squash. What beautiful flowers! Luminous.

And strange, slender fruit.

I weighed this basket later. 3 3/4 lbs of roof crop...Zucchinis, cucumber, black cherry tomatoes (which are dirty pink, really), Mexican heirloom cherries, and one, one yellow pear cherry tomato. Two very small watermelons.

I had to pick the watermelons. The plant's stem had withered completely. I thought, No way it can be ready. I was very sad.

And very wrong. Next post.

The squash creepeth on. Maybe it can be added to succotash.


  1. Those squash flowers - so beautiful!

  2. Marie, For the could dice them in small cubes(peeled or not peeled), in a bowl with plain yogurt, salt, pepper and dry mint to taste. You can have this with toasted pita bread.
    Very refreshing on a summer evening with a nice drink...
    Tell me what you think. :-)

  3. If you can eke out a few more cukes and you are still growing watermelon, you can plan on making the Cucumber and Watermelon Salad recipe I found in NYT Food section yesterday. Delish.

  4. Belinda, aren't they?

    Anyes - that's one of my favourite ways to eat cucumbers :-) I add garlic, too, and use fresh mint.

    Lisa - hey, that's my favourite salad -

    ...but I'm going to make watermelon gazpacho with the melon.

  5. I fell in love with the shingled house, and also the beautiful window boxes.

    I bet when you get home that squash vine will be twenty feet longer ;-)

  6. wonder if perhaps the pepper plant has been too well fed so is putting most of its energy into vegetative growth? i remember thanking the bug gods when my cucumber and zucchini vines would at last succumb to powdery mildew and squash borer because i'd been overwhelmed with fruits but didn't want to be the one to pull up the vines before their time.

  7. Zucchini plants will often produce a surfeit of male flowers early in the season, and will only produce a female flower later on.

    A Q-tip works quite well for pollination.


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