Friday, June 4, 2010

Taking Stock

Even around here, gardening season is in full swing, and the vegetable garden is starting to look threatening--meaning that it's about to overwhelm me with its bounty.

The lettuce plants are getting big, but still taste good. The arugula bolted, and I pulled it out today and planted my yearly zucchini plant in its space. For many of us zucchini has acted strangely the last couple of years, with a lot of the fruits shriveling up in infancy. At least we haven't had to worry about locking our cars in parking lots to keep people from throwing their extra zucchinis in. The late spinach, the chard and the kale are screaming at me to start harvesting and freezing them--once we hit the solstice in a couple of weeks, winter will be just around the corner. The broccoli plants are starting to form heads. I'd better put freezer bags on the grocery list.

The hot-weather crops are all in, though not producing yet: tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and acorn squash. The only thing that remains to be planted is the beans, but they'll have to wait until the peas stop producing and vacate their space. My vegetable garden consists of nine 4'x4' squares, intensively cultivated, so some crops have to wait their turn until others have finished. I believe the technical term for this is "succession planting."

I wish I could stop Bisou from running full tilt through the garden. True, she runs on the paths, and not on the beds themselves, but both Lexi and Wolfie know what "out of the garden!" means, and wouldn't go in there if their lives depended on it. Bisou likes nothing better than to entice Wolfie to chase her, and I think that she has figured out that if she runs through the garden he can't catch her, and so she does. Still, there is something about the sight of that little red dog running at top speed, her long ears trailing behind her, that gladdens my heart. She's probably figured that out, too.


  1. Your comment about an abundance of zucchini being thrown into unlocked cars reminds me of Marge Piercy's wonderful poem, "Attack of the Squash People" here in part:

    Get rid of old friends: they too
    have gardens and full trunks.
    Look for newcomers: befriend
    them in the post office, unload
    on them and run. Stop tourists
    in the street. Take truckloads
    to Boston. Give to your Red Cross.
    Beg on the highway: please
    take my zucchini, I have a crippled
    mother at home with heartburn.

    Sneak out before dawn to drop
    them in other people's gardens,
    in baby buggies at churchdoors.
    Shot, smuggling zucchini into
    mailboxes, a federal offense.

    With a suave reptilian glitter
    you bask among your raspy
    fronds sudden and huge as
    alligators. You give and give
    too much, like summer days
    limp with heat, thunderstorms
    bursting their bags on our heads,
    as we salt and freeze and pickle
    for the too little to come.

  2. Jaimie, this is fabulous! Thank you so much. "sudden and huge as alligators," indeed.