Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Old McFoster had a farm...

And on that farm he had some squash

Did ya know that we're farmers? Okay, well to call what we do "farming" is a stretch, but we ARE growing stuff. And we may actually be able to eat some of it, so that counts for something, right?

Since we were apartment-dwellers, we thought it would be fun to have a garden. We've been composting for a couple of years - it makes me feel like I'm not quite such an enviro-killer, and I tell myself that it helps offset the number of diapers we've dumped into the landfill. (I'm deluding myself, I know!) Our compost has occasionally produced a small cherry tomato plant in the middle of our flower bed. (Side benefit - free food!) This year, we finally decided to try growing stuff intentionally. And you know what? It works!

We've certainly learned some lessons along the way. Anyone know what this is?

That's what happens when you wait too long to pick your broccoli. They don't call those things "florets" for nothin'! Each of those little green things (you know, the part that gets stuck in your teeth?) turned into tiny yellow flowers. Oops. Apparently it's kinda tough to grow broccoli in NC. And even more apparently, you need to pick it when it mildly resembles something found in your local Harris Teeter.

But we managed to catch our cauliflower in time!

Well, almost. If you look closely, it's a little fuzzy where it started to flower, too. But we ate it anyway. Of course, this one piece is all we got, but it was a nice addition to our salad one evening!

And we still got some compost volunteers - a bunch of tomato plants (Will they be cherry or regular tomatoes? We'll see what appears. Oh the anticipation!) And this surprise addition:

My wonderful Facebook friends have identified it as a squash. It was also suggested that it could be a flesh-eating monster plant, but I'm leaning squash - that got the larger number of votes. I was banking on cantaloupe (!!!), and my friend Adam (who is as close to a farmer as anyone I know in my generation) was kind enough to tell me that I wasn't totally nuts. We'll see what kind of squash-aloupe we get. That one's pretty neat - those flowers open up every morning, and close back up by the time we get home from work.

Me, I'm waiting for these:

I hear that my granddaddy used to have a contest with his next door neighbor every year to see who could get a red tomato before July 4th. My parents had a tomato growing competition with each other last year. I declared Mom to be the winner - because Dad cheated. He hung a grocery store tomato on his plant. (In all his cunning, he forgot to remove the stickers. For the record, the stickers don't actually grow on the tomato.) I may need to turn this into a competition, just to keep a family tradition alive. Anyone wanna race me?

But I may not make it to July - I have this thing for fried green tomatoes...


Sush said...

Shared some Fried Green Tomatoes with your Mom tonight...we loved them! I used to grow a huge veggie patch in NO, but our house here is all shade. Sigh...
Have fun, the garden looks great!I am still composting, though and my plants love it. Have you tried compost tea?


Anonymous said...

Ooooh, I am all about the competition for the tomatoes!!! Our garden is exploding right now... we have had fresh salad from the garden every night recently, plus we have chard, beets, carrots, peppers, squash, cantaloupe, and cucumbers slowing growing. We bought the tomato plants from Costco, so not sure if that counts for the contest since they weren't grown from seed! But everything else was! Our garden is the thing we are most proud of as a homeowner!

Jen F. said...

Sush - compost tea?! Like tea that you drink? Not sure about that...

Jamie - GAME ON! I bet I have a delicious tomato sandwich before you do (and ours came from seedlings too, so I think that's a fair contest).
:-) Beyond family bragging rights, what will be my prize for whooping up on you?!

Amy said...

ACK! You already have things that resemble tomatoes on your plant, and I haven't even planted any yet. This is what I do every year -- get caught up with end-of-school stuff in the spring and then never plant anything because I'm sure I'm too late by the time I'm available for planting. Ugh. Maybe some of your garden geniuses can tell me if I'm too late for tomatoes.

Since I'm looking at pictures of your garden, I assume you bought a new camera? Can't wait to hear where you find the old one! (You did check the couch cushions, right?)

Derek Foster said...

Go ahead Amy and plant your tomatoes. We can see who can get the last tomato this year too. It seemed like my grandfather had them well into the fall, and then he would pick all the green ones prior to the first frost and let them ripen in the window.

Jen F. said...

And NO I have not yet bought a camera. Those were taken with my cell phone, which works fine for well-lit outdoor still life. Squiggly children? Nothin' but a blur.

I'm seriously thinking Luke hid it. He put my keys inside the coffee pot (like where you put the grounds). Oh yeah, it's going to be an interesting 17 years ahead.

Amy said...

Great kid!!! I'll bet he gave the cutest kewpie doll grin when his key hiding place was discovered. You checked the fire truck seat already? ... bought a tomato plant today, all because of you. Poor plant...