Monday, September 7, 2009

More Watering and Picking (my first lemon apple cucumber)

Tracy and I watered on Saturday morning and the soil looked pretty dry, though the plants seemed to be thriving. The big lemon apple cucumber I'd had my eye on was gone--someone found it before I could get to it. But we did pick a small one on Saturday and ate it--even though it looked like a cross between a lemon and an apple, it pretty much tasted just like a cucumber ( a very good one). The lemon apple cucumbers do not seem to be thriving--I don't know if many of the initial plants survived the rabbits.

We gave away one or two more cucumbers, plus a handful of green beans, and we brought home a small tatume squash to have in our dinner.

We passed by the garden on our way home from the Harbor Islands on Sunday (where we had fantasized about having a big garden on top of the North Drumlin on Spectacle Island--it'd be the garden with the best view in Boston). Some of the vines appeared damaged, either through vandalism or rough handling (my suspicion tends to go with rough handling--it takes a lot of searching through the vines and leaves to find the veggies, and if you're rough, it's easy to pinch or break a vine). Also, the powdery mildew took out a plant or two.

I went back and watered again on Sunday, because it all looked so dry (this definitely gives me a solid workout, hauling all the water by hand a couple hundred feet). I gave away a big tatume squash to an elderly woman who lives in the main building, plus cucumbers to a grandmother walking with her small grandkids. Basically, if someone comes and talks to me while I'm working, I try to make an effort to get them something from the garden (that's half the fun, actually).

I really don't have a good idea of how many vegetables we're producing, because I don't know how much people are picking when we're not around. I don't think they pick much (there hasn't been a lot for them to take yet, though I know folks aren't shy about picking the cherry tomatoes), but they definitely pick some. Working with this garden is a challenge to my inner control freak, because people pick stuff when I'm not there--so I can't count it, I can't make sure they're being careful, I can't try to make sure it goes to people who really appreciate it, and I can't make sure people don't take too much. I just have to let it go and relax. I'm getting there, though it's taking some practice.


  1. I wonder if you might think about planting more things that are obvious "pick me"s, like the cherry tomatoes. Sure, they're not making it home to be part of an actual prepared meal, but reminding people how tasty fresh fruit and veg are. Some will find their way to the grocer's fruit and veg aisles, some will find their way to the farmer's market, some will find their way to bostonorganics dot com, some will find their way to their own front/side/back yards, perfect for their own garden.

    Put another way, squash and cukes aren't nearly as tempting as tomatoes are when walking past, so my "vote" is for more tomatoes.

  2. Hi, I emailed you a while back about my daughter and I enjoying the garden as we bike past on weekends. Just wanted you to know that after being away the last two weeks of August, we biked past on Sunday and my daughter picked 2 cucumbers and one round squash. Thought you'd like to add that to your count! She actually wanted to pick a 2nd squash but it was on the other side of the fence and I convinced her that it should be kept for a person that parks there! It did look ready, though! She was facinated that the cucumbers were prickly! She also eagerly looked low to the ground, below the leaves, to see what she could find! I think for children, anyway, it's like a treasure hunt! Thanks again!

  3. In response to "more tomatoes" I think you're absolutely right, though I do plan to keep the cukes and squash (maybe not the beans, though the scarlet runner flowers are so pretty). More tomatoes would be good, and I want peppers and eggplant and other "pick me" veggies"

    Maura--thanks for the comment--I'm so glad to know that you picked more. And you're right that I'm glad to have the numbers to add to the count! The treasure hunt aspect of it is really great for kids--that's how I get my son to help pick pole beans.