Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Emerging Acorn Squash and Pole Beans

My squash patch is doing quite well now. Several acorn (winter) squash have started to appear, and it looks like there's many more on the way. By late fall, I am hoping that a reasonable harvest is possible. I do need, however, to now guard against the onslaughts of marauding squirrels, as well as several of my Twitter friends (heh heh know who you are! :-).

Here's one of the growing baby squash. Note that the squash vine has become so long, it's left the boundaries of the garden proper, and is happily invading the lawn:

This particular plant has become so large, I've decided to name it "Audrey", after the notorious, carnivorous house plant in Little Shop of Horrors. "Feed me, I'm hungry," Audrey usually says to me most mornings....

It's hard to believe that all this came from the seeds of a single acorn squash I bought in Stop & Shop last fall for use in our Thanksgiving Day meal. Had I simply discarded the seeds along with the kitchen scraps, none of this would be happening in my garden right now. What a waste that would've been, and a failure for sustainability and the concept of locally grown foods. (No, I am no joking about that...I take these matters rather seriously, in fact).

My pole beans are also proliferating. When my collards from last season bolted and finally died, I collected their seed pods and tied their stalks together to form a natural trellis, and planted three varieties of pole beans around them. This is what is looked like as of this morning:

Of course, it would've been nicer if they were farther along, but I should have plenty of nice long pole beans by the fall. I thought it was a good way, though, to utilize and re-purpose the collard stalks, rather than just simply cutting them down.


  1. Great post, John.

    You continue to amaze with such attention to the oft overlooked elements of sustainability. Reduce and reuse...

    Why toss those seeds when they will morph into bounty next year with a little TLC? Why waste the remnants of the collard harvest when they can be used to promote a new season of growth?

    Some (I) might just call that strong leadership.



  2. Thanks very much, Mike. I really appreciate your thoughtful and insightful comments (as always).

    It is indeed pretty amazing how much more one can do when paying attention to small details, and applying some forward-thinking planning. As this gardening effort continues, I hope to be able to relate additional insights and discoveries on this blog.

    Thanks again!

  3. So...nice work! The only complaint I have with seeds is that they seem counter-sustainable at the Good Estate, meaning that I blissfully save them in hopes of planting for next year. I watch excitedly as the sprouts start coming up in the small containers inside and become excited at the prospect of feeling like I solely provided for my family. Then, I plant said seedlings in the garden (always after Mother's Day) and wait...and wait....and then one day I walk out to find that everything is dead from that last spring rainstorm. So, then I go buy new plants at the local garden center. Me thinks that may be a waste of resources. However, I could cover the garden in plastic and import water within to possibly protect it. Hmmm....

  4. Hi Amy! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    Yeah...starting from seeds is no easy task. I've had some amazing failures. There are many plants (e.g., basil) that I have no success with at all, and likewise resort to store-bought, mature plants.

    I was lucky with this squash. It must have good genes, since I got about an 80% germination rate and nearly all the seedlings survived. Raised them indoors and only transplanted when they were fully grown.

    Regarding the plastic covers, there seem to be quite a few good ones available out there (like the hooped ones, etc.). Seems like that would certainly be worth your trying out.

    Thanks again!

  5. I miss having a garden, so I have to live vicariously through the blogs of those who do. Thanks, John. Here's one that you may enjoy:

    She's a friend of mine here in the Atlanta area and a good writer.

  6. Allison,

    Thanks very much for the Southern Urban Homestead link. I really like your friend's blog, and have become a follower.

    If you're missing having a garden because of life in the city, perhaps you can try opting for container gardening? I am personally fond of containers -- they're easy to manage, and you can experiment with many different arrangements, etc.

    Thanks again for stopping by!