Friday, August 14, 2009

The Vines! The Vines! (or cucurbits are coming!)

It seems like this summer's theme is one of vines taking over the yard. I read somewhere that it will be a banner year for poison ivy due to global warming giving it the delightful opportunity for a longer growing season here in the Piedmont region. Perhaps this is why grapevines, virginia creeper and mile a minute vines are taking over my yard. Or could it have been the weeks of rain earlier in the season? Volunteer cucurbits of unknown origin are everywhere(is it a gooseneck gourd taking over my native hydrangea?Or could it be a fairytale pumpkin? I just have to leave the giant vines that spread by the minute, until I see what the crop might be)Even the vines that I have actually planted seem to be out of control. I practically have to use a machete to get into the garden. When my first planting of several types did not come up, I tried again with the result that we have 3 varieties of cucumber, four varieties of squash, including pattypan, acorn, ronde de nice (my go to squash every year) and an unusual one which I got from Native Seeds Search when I visited in Tucson this winter.(and where I evidently found the worlds hottest pepper which was just labeled capsicum). I like to cook the patty pan by sauteeing a sliced onion, adding the squash sliced in thin wedges and cooking till it carmelizes. Then I pour a little water in the skillet and put on the lid. When the squash looks done, I top it with parmesan cheese, put the lid back on till the cheese melts add sea salt and pepper and serve!

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