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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Parkers in the Garden

Looking for "Bees"

As some of you know, we have become a bit granola since Corbin was born. Part of our green effort has been to garden this summer. We've wanted to garden since buying a house (10 years ago) and always have misc. tomatoes and such growing in a little bed on the side of the house, but never a full garden.
I grew up with a garden and loved having fresh veggies all summer long. Of course, even though I weeded and picked and such, I have never been entirely responsible for a garden. Neither has Mr. Parker.
Garden Design

After some research, we decided the easy route to getting started would be to have a raised bed built. Knowing we wouldn't have the time, we hired out the work after Lee drew up the design.

Another sweet childhood memory - sheets drying on a clothesline. So, we decided to incorporate a clothesline as well. The clothesline would be retractable so as not to offend the neighbors. Although technically illegal in our subdivision, we received a special allowance from the homeowners association president. We didn't even have to point out that our clothesline would never contain undies and would not be as tacky as the many trampolines surrounding us.

Here are some pics of how the backyard worked out:
Garden with Clothesline & Compost Bin

Sun tea
It's nice to have the sitting bench around the garden for weeding. And, Lee used some bricks left over from our patio project to create an impromptu walkway.
As far as growing anything though, we had low expectations this year. So we were especially excited when the two butternut squash plants we bought began growing like crazy. Corbin loves squash and we had visions of freezing some for him instead of buying the uber-expensive organic squash at Whole Foods. Before long, little green squashes began popping up everywhere.

As a bonus, we also had some kind of volunteer squashy item growing in our old side bed. Was it a pumpkin? A watermelon? Acorn squash? We had no idea except that it kept growing too and began to look like something out of "Little Shop of Horrors".

Flash forward to September, and we have a garden squash big enough to pick except it looked NOTHING like a butternut squash. I did a ton of Internet research trying to figure out what type it was and triple-checked the little label the squash came with from the nursery to make sure I wasn't missing something.

Midget Mystery Squash

A few days after picking the mystery squash, my mother came over to babysit, glanced at the squash and said "That's a cantaloupe". And you know what? She was right. Good thing we like cantaloupe too.

Meanwhile, our side bed squash was huge and striped. We were a little afraid of it. Then it turn into this beautiful creature:

11" Butternut Squash

Lee cooked it up tonight and it was delicious. Deep orange inside and slightly sweet. The volunteer squash's two sisters are sitting on the kitchen counter so we'll definitely have butternut squash in our freezer but from a volunteer plant and not our new garden! Ah well - there's always next year!


P.S. For Corbin's definition of "Bee", see item 71 on Corbin-ese.


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