Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Victory is Mine," Sayeth Ribbit.

Victory is sweet, indeed. It's seldom that hobbies we pick on a whim, let alone the whim of a 4 yr. old come to fruition. When they don't things can turn into a personal vendetta...I mean mission.

Case in point...cucumbers.

As I've said several times in these last few posts, I've never successfully grown a cucumber. I've never had the female to make it grow, so that threw a wrench in the mix you could say.

Today, my friends, I harvested this:

Seriously, and all drama aside, I could have been in tears as I was slicing this cucumber. I did what I set out to do, and by God that was the sweetest, most delectable cucumber I have ever eaten, even more so given that this was my ultimate goal. Seriously. I'd be happy if the season ended now. OK, so that's a lie being that I've got three more maturing on the vine, a zucchini to pick tomorrow and three tomatoes about to ripen, but you understand my point. Yes, I'm feeling a smidgen bit prideful; not to worry, I'm feeling guilty enough about that, but I've been able to put aside two decanters of pepper sauce for the two recipes that have been given to me, one of which I'm giving to a girlfriend for her birthday tomorrow, and then I picked a mess of beans yesterday and another today which I gave to my neighbor since they're growing in the side yard which is against the HOA and he has to look at them, and I'm just stupidly giddy.

And humble.

You know, it's not a given things will grow. You see pictures all of the time of growth, harvest dates and failures, but when you've been doing it for a span you roll with the punches. Coming off the first year of nothing, it's an oasis, the crystal clear beauty, in the desert.

The boy still wouldn't eat that cucumber and the girl snubbed her nose as well. We did, however, get two blueberries off of a bush which the boy devoured in .10 seconds. We picked them this morning but held them until after school lest he die of God only knows what contaminant there might be.

He seems to be doing fine, so far. :)

Like I said, I picked more purple beans after I put the others in a coleslaw/pasta salad for a play-date tomorrow (that terminology still makes me laugh).

Two tomatoes seem to be turning red which is exciting and, again, I have that zucchini to pick tomorrow along with a squash and male opening.

Sadly, or should I say oddly, we had a rain storm come in last night and this happened:

The mammoth zucchini bush fell straight over on its side. This picture is from where I propped it back on end. All of the leaves are curled at the stems now, which where it lends me a distinctive view of the undersides of the leaves which where it is good for squash bug egg detecting, makes me sad. Should I keep it on its side or do you think it will prop itself back when the leaves strain for the sun. Keep in mind, the picture is when I lifted it up; it was lying on its side which is evident by it's curled stems. Any advice whether it is to leave it flopped to the side or prop it up would be helpful.

Also of note, I picked off one squash bug today with total bravado, being that I squealed while doing so, but if EG can hold them with his bare hands while he takes pictures (for goodness sakes, EG, don't you have an ounce of fear of bugs in you) I can flop one into a cup of soapy water. I also did some research and realized that the wasp I chased around the entire garden two days ago was not a wasp and indeed a squash vine borer moth.


This morning when I went to the garden and found that squash bug I also found an almost clear wormish thing skulking its way through a leaf stem. It wasn't an inch worm or a cabbage worm. I can only assume it was a minuscule SVB. I extracted that bugger buy it's tail end and squished him with all of the malice I could muster.

Point in short, I can do this. I WILL do this.

For years to come.

Man, if you're reading this, I've picked out places to expand next year. I know you've humored me unto this point, but I honestly think I've found a purpose.

The morning comes early, but that's quite alright when you've got squash blossoms to pollinate in the morning.

Sweet gardening dreams, my friends. Sweet gardening dreams.


  1. Ya Ribbit!!!! Congratulations on your delicious cucumber!!! May many more come along!!!!

    Garden can be so satisfying... when things go right!

  2. Good for you! (On the cucumber, and squashbug removal). Bugs don't bother me at all. Oh...they run when they see me. Ha!

  3. Ribbit, you are a truly brave soul. I try to remember to wear my gardening gloves during times of insect infestations, and although I have been known to squish a few wire worms between my bare fingers, I would definitely go for the gloves before squishing anything larger and/or juicier.

    Your cucumber is beautiful. I'll trade you for a refrigerator full of lettuce (not the refrigerator, just the lettuce)!

  4. Congrats on the cucumber!
    Sounds like its going well.....good job!

  5. Congrats on your cucumber!

    I think your zucchini leaves wil right themselves. I'd leave it upright if it seems like it will be stable that way.

  6. That's fine by me. We just need to leave room to get the lawn tractor through so I can cut the grass back there. Might want to leave room for a swing set, too.

    I know you love gardening and I'm glad you've found something that makes you so happy.

    The Man

  7. I feel the same way, Ribbit. You've conquered the beast, so to speak, and you should feel immensely proud!!!

    For the zucchini, maybe you can finagle one of those circular tomato cages around it to give it some extra support? I'm still patting myself on the back for saving a cauliflower plant with a drinking straw around the stem after strong winds knocked it over. I thought it was a goner for sure. Of course, there is still no CAULIFLOWER in my cauliflower, but that's beside the point. :)

  8. Toni, thanks! I've got several more females that have opened over the last few days, but I don't know if they've been pollinated or when to give up on them.

  9. EG, I did my best EG impression on a squash bug yesterday and he all but jumped into my cup of soapy water. You may be on to something.

  10. Granny, Between the our cucumbers and lettuce, if we can get EG in on the tomato end we could bust this salad consipiracy wide open.

  11. Thanks, Sue!

    Amy, you were right. It seems to be straightening itself out with only a few damaged stems. It could be worse. Maybe I'll try to find a way to afix it to something since I know it's prone to floppage.

  12. Thanks, Gumshoe! My cauliflower never got heads either. :( It's going to be my fall challenge!

  13. Man,

    Don't worry, it's in the other corner of the yard. It won't do me any good in the fall or spring, but it's the summer crops that seem to sprawl and need more room.

    Thank you for being so supportive.

  14. "Between the our cucumbers and lettuce, if we can get EG in on the tomato end we could bust this salad consipiracy wide open."

    Ribbit, I have 25 tomato plants, all in full bloom, and at least one real (albeit tiny) baby tomato. We can supply the world! OK, maybe a neighborhood or two ;-)

  15. Mmmuuuaaahhhaahhhaahhaa!!!

    Granny, note evil laugh. :)

  16. Hi, Ribbit. I'm new to reading your blog and happy to see your success. I've been a gardener for many, many years and I can tell you that the thrill of the harvest is a lifelong thing. My little garden (I've gone from 3000 square feet to 100!) is still so satisfying. I'm looking forward to more pictures.

    I love the pic of the girl with bathing suit and stocking cap. My youngest used to wear a belt with everything... including her swimsuit! Brought back memories.


  17. Hi Sandy! It must have been hard deciding what to plant when you loose 200 ft. of garden! What did you decide to keep and what did you leave out?