Monday, July 14, 2014
The Worlds Most Expensive Vegetables - Part 13
About three weeks back my six year old daughter, ever the inspector, brought to my attention that there were yellow and black striped bugs in the garden. I had noticed them before but figured, "What's a garden without some bugs?" That was a mistake. These were cucumber bugs and they will destroy anything on a vine: melons, cucumbers, squash, you name it. Not only do they eat the leaves but they carry a disease that makes the plant wither and die. As my garden contains a whole lotta melons, etc I soon realized that this meant war! I'm too cheap to buy the goopy stuff that attracts and then traps these vermin (not technically vermin and I probably won't be too cheap to buy the stuff next year). Although I found them on all my vining plants, they were particularly heavy on one plant. Because I had "helpers" and didn't take especially good notes when transplanting this row of plants I'm not 100% sure of which kind of plant these bugs are chowing on, though I think it was a cucumber. I was half hoping that the plant would set some fruit so I could identify and use it next year for a decoy but alas, for all my effort this plant withered and bit the bucket. That effort was night after night of going outside with a flashlight, catching these buggers often while buggering, and squashing the squash eaters between my fingers. Early on I killed about two hundred in ten minutes but near the end my efforts had paid off to where I only found about a dozen. This same inspector daughter also noticed squash bore eggs on the zucchini plant. Tessa has earned the right to eat whatever she wants from the garden!
Just when I thought my melons were safe, though, my two year old ran over one of them in a PowerWheels car. Not just ran over but literally ran the big grinding back wheel right over the mound where one variety was growing. Fortunately they recovered and I am now extra vigilant whenever said daughter takes the wheel. Who gave her a permit, anyway? This naughty daughter also picked a wee little pumpkin that was just two inches around.
Last week was very busy after work so I barely spent any time out in the garden. However on Saturday morning I noticed that one of my cherry tomato plants had lost most of it's leaves. Weird. Since I over-planted cherry tomatoes I didn't think much about it until later in the day when I saw a big green thing moving on the wire cage. Scroll down if you're squeamish.
Cream of Saskatchewan. It's about four inches across already, even with our colder than normal weather, and it's got a twin and four small siblings! If this plant is able to churn out watermelons up here in Northern Indiana then I'll be one happy man!
So now it starts to be payback time. I spent $500 putting the garden in and have so far harvested:
1# green beans - $1
1 pint red rasp - $2.50
small strawberries - $1
5 organic beets - $3
Lettuce - 7 salads - & chives & parsley- $4
4 parisian carrots - 50 cents
mound of basil - $2
1 head broccoli - $1
Sugar Snap Peas - $3
=$18, meaning that my overall balance sheet is only $482 in the red!