Monday, July 12, 2010

The Bitch is Still Gardening....but does she have bees?

Just a quick update for our reader(s?) who might be biting their nails in anticipation to find out if the planting of flowering perennials brought in the bees. Well, folks, we've seen one bee. There might be more than one and they just look alike (which they tend to do), but only one bee at a time has been spotted. That one bee has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders (and bees have really small shoulders), but I must admit he is doing a stellar job because.....get ready for it....WE HAVE A SQUASH PLANT GROWING!!! Sorry to yell, but this is exciting news around here. There may even be TWO SQUASH PLANTS!!!

Last week I had declared we would never again grow any vegetables that require pollination of flowers, but this week, I'm feeling a lot more optimistic. One thing I will say is that when they say you need 36 inches between each plant, they ain't kidding. These suckers are huge! The leaves themselves are as big as plates. And there's a ton of leaves. I have discovered that the plants don't really seem to notice if you lop off a few of the larger leaves when they're not looking.

Update on the rest of the garden - the swiss chard, beets and carrots that I grew from seed are all doing swimmingly. The chard will be ready in a couple days. We are excited about that, because this recipe with garlic and hot pepper flakes is one of our favorite ways to eat chard. Did you know that people here in Massachusetts (and maybe other places, too) say "chard", like "chalk" but people in California say it like "charades"? How do you say it?

I seem to be having the upper hand in the battle against the cabbage worms. The organic bacteria spray that I've been using as my weapon seems to be working. I feel bad for those little squishy green worms, but they really cause a lot of damage. I am determined to eat cabbage later this summer. The green beans look a lot like those cabbage worms at this point. About one inch long and green. Luckily they are attached to the bean plants, so they won't doing any damage to the cabbage. The basil and other herbs are having fun growing and then being lopped off so we can eat them. I made more pesto and froze it for use later this winter. Yum!


  1. The basil looks amazing!! And congratulations on your squash plants!

    Chard is chard like chardonnay, as the rule for French loanwords is that the "ch" is a voiceless postalveolar fricative. It is not chard. Nor is it card.

  2. The speech pathologist has spoken! It must be true! Chard it is!!!

  3. Great pictures! For more on shard, read this:

    Chard (Beta vulgaris var. cicla), also known by the common names Swiss Chard[1], Silverbeet, Perpetual Spinach, Spinach Beet, Crab Beet, Seakale Beet and Mangold, is a leafy vegetable, and is one of the cultivated descendants of the sea beet, Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima. Although the leaves are eaten, it is in the same species as beetroot (garden beet) which is usually grown primarily for its edible roots.

    Taken from the Wikipedia page on Chard:

    Not to be confused with the band Silverbeet, which also points to that page.

  4. How do you get your basil to grow so well? Whenever I try, I never get enough leaves to make anything. :(

  5. Thanks, Anonymous! Some great info. I have also eaten beet greens, but didn't find them as tasty as chard. They're a bit more earthy.

    Christine, I have no idea why my basil is doing well. I hope you find more success in the future!


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