Don’t Let This Happen To You

It’s not pretty. In fact, this photo should come with a warning label: ghastly and unsightly. Seriously, I almost ran for the hills when I saw it.

My zucchini have been stricken by some horrible affliction. Not sure whether it’s the result of a virus or a steep fluctuation in temperature, but they are horrid.

lumpy zucchini

ACK! Pull the hand from your eyes–I told you it was horrible but you must look. You must understand what can happen to you. This zucchini is enormous in size, but inedible. At least, no one in my family is going to dare eat it. Holes, lumps, scars, it’s awful. Simply awful. Some would suggest this is the result of a virus. The Cucumber Mosaic Virus, to be exact. Passed from aphid to zucchini–or cucumber, squash, any member of this veggie family–the virus will attack your plant and cause these unsightly lumps. The good news, it won’t move from plant to plant or linger in your soil (whew!) but it will destroy your zucchini plant. Disclaimer: humans can spread it from plant to plant so be careful!

The other option is extremer fluctuation in temperature. I’ve read where swings in temperature say 10-20°F can affect your zucchini this way. It has certainly been the case with my garden. One day we’re a balmy 80°F and the next, a frigid 35°F. Brrrr….

Either way, I’m sad to see my zucchini succumb to Mother Nature, but she can be nasty when she wants to be. She can also bless you in ways you’ve never imagined. So I won’t mention this little incident to her. Just keep it between us, okay? But DO be aware. 😉



Yukon Gold takes the Bronze

My potatoes aren’t well.  They may look okay, but as we know, looks can be deceiving.  I’m not even sure what happened.  I’ve watered them, hilled them, fed them and mulched them but still, they disappoint.  Not entirely, you see, as I did manage to harvest some real beauties, but in general, not what I expected.  Especially not after such stellar runs with the Kennebec crew!  These girls produced even after the plants died off from the frost.

But that was fall, this is spring.  And in the meantime, I have learned an important lesson.  Ants.  Tiny warriors I paid no attention to were found filing in and out of my golden potatoes.  My son discovered them first with an alarmed gasp.  “Mom!  Look at the ants!”

“It’s okay,” I said.  To think I thought he meant in the dirt and hushed him off without looking.  “Keep digging.”  But it was late, dinner was late, and I was in a hurry to be finished with swimming for potatoes.  Funny.  We were late due to swim class!  Life’s little funnies never cease, do they? 

But ants in the potatoes are never funny.  All this time I was trying to live at one with nature, tolerating the presence of pests when I could — but no more.  It’s time to rid the garden of the nuisance once and for all and diatomaceous earth is the organic recommendation.  I’ll sprinkle it around and see how it goes.  Hopefully, my other goldens won’t fall prey to the fire beasts.

Yet however trying our days might be, I always try to look on the bright side.  Not only am I outside, enjoying some quality time with my son as he digs his heart out, securing a succulent bounty for dinner, kinda like the old days when men folk used to go out and hunt for food, but I’ll have my first batch of fresh goldens for dinner! 

I quartered those I could salvage and brushed them with olive oil, sprinkled a favorite Mediterranean herb mix purchased from my local grocery store, then roasted them to a golden brown.  While not plentiful, they were delectable

As a side note, I tried something new and added some of my fresh onions to the mix and WOW they were good.  I am a tried and true fan of homegrown sweet onions.  With the texture of butter and the flavor of cream, my Granex onions are some of the best I’ve ever tasted.

Come fall, I’ll know better.  I’ll have the ants under control before they get out of hand and into my potatoes.  

Experience is a beautiful teacher!  But for now, I’ll keep my chin up and look forward to our next “swim.”  Buried treasure has a universal appeal and when you find your gold in the dirt, it’s a satisfying feeling, holes or no holes.