Monday, May 08, 2006

Garden Update



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These yellow crookneck squash are growing in the FFA fair pig pen and seem pretty happy. I mulched around them with pinestraw from Twig Forest to keep weeds down. The long spring drought has actually helped them by keeping the powdery mildew fungus at bay. They are producing like crazy and Emma and her momma ate a panfull of them last night. I don't like squash, but I like to grow it.

















Getting my squash in early, before the heat and humidity sets in was the ticket this year. So far the deer have ignored it even though they stripped my gourd plants last year.

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I have lots of green tomatoes and almost ready bell peppers. No sign of a blush yet.

My watermelon vines have blossomed. The pro farmers in the county already have volleyball size melons in the fields.

26 comments:

Lightnin said...

FC-
Since you don't like squash, and they tend to produce more than a family can eat....try to pick the blooms, wash them and batter them then deep fry them. Yummy!

Wayne said...

I don't like squash either. But I grow them. What is this all about?

Watermelons on the other hand, yummmm. There are few other foods that give me more unadulterated, simple ecstasy than eating a watermelon. Cantaloups work too.

There's also the issue of the state of your current harvest while the rest of us still have only seedlings :-) . But I can get over that, since you have hurricanes to worry about.

rick said...

like father like son

Floridacracker said...

Lightnin,
Can I roll a shrimp in the blossom first?


Wayne,
Don't worry, In a month, the sun and humidity will have shut down most production and these spring garden plants will be struggling to survive.

Rick,
I have a long way to go to fill those shoes, but thanks! Are you going to the reunion?

Lightnin said...

I think adding a fresh shrimp would only enhance this treat!


Fried Squash Blossoms Recipe
Ingredients
12 squash (pumpkin or zucchini) blossoms
1 egg, beaten
5 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Parsley for garnish, optional


Instructions
Clean the squash blossoms, removing the stems, if desired, and the small green spikes at the base. Press the hard bulbs to flatten, then separate and extend the petals until the flower shape is visible.

Dip the flowers in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry 6 flowers at a time until crisp and golden; change the oil if necessary between batches. Drain on paper towels.

Serve, garnished with chopped parlsley, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Floridacracker said...

Lightnin,
I just hope it tastes better than fried daylilly blossom, because that was not fun...

roger said...

mmmmmmm. watermelons! i don't think they would make it up here in the maritime northwest. we do grow zucchini and crook neck squash, yum, and i'll try the fried blossom thing. thanks for the recipe lightnin.

pablo said...

Like Wayne, I have to wrap my head around the idea that someone is nearly harvesting tomatoes. I literally just put mine in the ground yesterday! But with luck I should have a crop through September.

Floridacracker said...

dpr,
you could try a vertical container vine with one of the smaller icebox melons in your greenhouse.

Pablo,
Once the evenings get over 70 degrees (June), the tomatoes and peppers will stop blooming. I envy your long harvest. I'll start a new round of tomatoes for the fall in August. The peppers will rest in the summer heat and then start blooming again in late summer.

Deb said...

Okay, I have garden envy now! But I must remind myself it is only early May, and by August when your stuff is withering in the heat I'll be enjoying the peak of harvest. I do have some spinach that overwintered in the cold frame that is almost big enough for a meal.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Eating homegrown squash in May! That's really a treat. We have our squash starts in the greenhouse and under the cloche. We're still having cold enough nights that a squash outside would probably perish.

We're going to do our datil seed starts in June. Don't want to scare them with our cold northwest spring.

Floridacracker said...

Deb,
Too true. In August as I snorkel the crystal clear Gulf waters plucking succulent scallops from the seagrass, I will try to keep my mind off of my dry husk of a garden, wilting in the back yard and the still bountiful Minnesotarctic gardens of my friends.

Floridacracker said...

RD,
Yes, please be gentle with those datils...they may have traveled farther than any before them :)

Mrs. S said...

I don't garden or snorkel, so I have nothing to be jealous of...

But in August, when everyone else is relaxing in the water or in the garden, I will be hugely pregnant and helping my best friend with last-minute wedding details...

*sigh*... I wish I had a garden or went snorkeling.

Floridacracker said...

Hey Mrs. S,
...but you'll be bouncing a new baby...and no garden or snorkel trip can compare to that.
Bummer about being hugely pregnant in the heat of August tho...we men have it so easy.

pablo said...

I've been through childbirth FOUR times, and I have to say I didn't find it all that difficult.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

We are just getting our garden out...and should I add...for the second time. The frost got the first 24 rutgers tomato plants we planted. The crooked neck squash plant is about 3 inches tall at the moment...Your growing season is earlier than ours and you've picked an excellent spot for your squash.
We are going to wait to plant more tomatoes until the danger of frost is past...May 15th.

Floridacracker said...

Pablo,
Oh yeah, well...I did it 3 times and got to cut the cord. Top that!

Abandoned,
I put out those tomatoes pretty early, gambling on our last frost date of March 15 being accurate. This time it paid off.

Mrs. S said...

I wish the men were the ones that wrote the birth-stories... I bet I'd be a lot less terrified about the whole birthing process if that were the case.

Hey! There's more material for you - tell me all there is to know about bringing a baby into this world ;)

You're a man... you oughta know how it's done, right?

Deb said...

Now I have scallop envy...and snorkel envy...

doubleknot said...

Catching up on your posts - was away for the weekend then had to recover from it.
Nice squash, good things to have handy for an emergency, nice haircut, a tear shed for any life shows compassion.

Leslie said...

I like to grow yellow crookneck squash, too. I'm not planting any this year, though, due to space restraints. Could only get so much garden prepped before the season was upon me. Next year!

I only like them two ways - fried (heaven on earth - you absolutely must try it if you've not yet - just dip in milk, then dredge in flour w/salt and pepper, and fry).

The other is squash casserole, an old recipe of my Grandmama's with too much salt and fat (lots of cheese) that is heaven melting in your mouth.

Dang. Now I want to grow yellow crooknecks.

Leslie said...

Space constraints.
Not restraints.
Sheesh.

Floridacracker said...

Mrs. S,
I think me giving birth advice would be like giving painting tips to Rembrandt or Picasso...

Deb,
Wolf, loon envy back at ya' :)

Leslie,
I confess that even fried squash can't get past my uvula...it's still too squashy.

Debbie said...

Try cutting the squash in half length-wise. Rub olive oil on it, salt & pepper, then on to the grill for about 5 minutes each side. Yummmm

Floridacracker said...

Debbie,
Do I have to? I'll eat everything else on my plate if I can just skip the squash...and the cauliflower...and sweet potatoes...