Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Squash and grow?

After a week in the desert airs of Durango, I returned home and was greeted by air almost thick enough to swim through.  Followed by a thunderstorm.  Followed by a 3-hour steady downpour.  We're on mold alert in our home.

Someone from around here once told me that Lancaster County, PA has the most fertile non-irrigated soil in the nation.  He said that's part of why we could win the Revolutionary War oh-so many years ago -- we could feed all our soldiers.  But for years, the soil of Lancaster County taunted me, as I helplessly watched plant after plant after plant wither away and die on me.

For years, I couldn't figure out how to turn dirt into plants, but I was a wizard at making plants into dirt.  My 3-year-old daughter once proudly told a friend of mine, "My mom has a PhD and a compost pile!"

So imagine my surprise to come home yesterday and see my compost bins looking like this:
Can't see the bin in there?   Neither could I!  Here's another view of the garage and compost bins.  One bin is directly under the window; the other is just to the right.  Still hard to see, huh?

 We had volunteer butter neck squash start its squashy life in the compost pile and then just take over the yard. It's like there's a squash forrest back there.
Also, there are pumpkins the sizes of basketballs.  Even, apparently, some basketballs.  (Okay, maybe the boys left that there).
Around the corner, the broccoli was as tall as I was.  I'd always thought broccoli was a short little plant like cabbage; this summer I learned otherwise.  I learned to cut off hunks of broccoli just as they ripen and wait for the plant to grow more.  The everlasting broccoli bush?   Sounds like sorcery.
And around yet another corner, we see the tomato plants that wouldn't die.  I didn't ever stake them up this year, and now searching for tomatoes is like an Easter Egg hunt.
Next year, I'm doing stakes.  Or concrete mesh.  Or something.

I would like to draw some kind of conclusion about persistence, or perseverance, or learning from friends, or some such.  But this garden is really just magic to me.  My fairy godmother waved her wand, and the earth exploded into vegetables.

Not all is unruly, though.  My dog had a wonderful time at the kennel this past week, or so his "report card" tells me.  And apparently, he has learned a great deal at the kennel.  Here he is, enjoying a quiet moment in the library, no doubt contemplating which book he should read next.
If he chooses "Cinderella", we'll have his coach ready to go, just waiting out in the garden.  He'll have a ball.

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