Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Worlds Most Expensive Vegetables - Part 15

It's harvest time! Or rather, it should be but the extreme mild weather we've had this past August has put a huge crimp in the size of me produce, especially the failed melon patch which will forever go down in infamy.

Here's the first, silverline, I think. It should be about twice this size but it was done cooking. Note the Pet Shop figure for scale. Not much meat there, just enough for one small taste for the curious of the household... tasted like cucumber. There are two more of about this size still on the vine but that's it. Three tiny melons.

Next up is your traditional watermelon, Black Mountain something, I think. There was a second melon that I kept waiting on and when I went to get it found that it had split and bugs got in and, well, it was pretty ucky. Now this here melon should be at least five pounds, according to the seed packet, but it weighed in at two. Like the one above it tasted like it needed to ripen more. Booo!

However there are still some melons growing so I haven't given up hope. These are two of the largest with the dark green one being a freebie from the compost pile. My fingers are crosses but overall it's been pretty disheartening as most of the melons are about softball size.

Even peppers haven't done well this year. This is a Giant Marconi. Normally a single plant chugs out peppers like tomato plants pelt out their stock but this year I only got two per plant. My bell peppers (not pictured) are likewise wimping along at three or four per plant. Also most of my onions barely grew, the broccoli all went to flower (except for two or three decent-sized heads). It's enough to make a man hang up his shovel.

One good thing is the beets. I didn't plant many but surprisingly the younger kids love 'em! The also like seeing if they've eaten enough to change the color of their liquid output!

Then there's the corn. We got a measly five full heads out and the corn itself was chewy, like frozen corn. Oh well, the seeds cost me a quarter but next year I think I'll leave corn growing to the professionals. Go through all the trouble of hand pollinating a small stand or buy ten ears for $3 from some farmer with a stand in his front yard? No contest!

What else? Oh, the sunflowers FINALLY have flowers on them! I've been seeing sunflowers in yards on my drive to work for weeks and wondered why mine were so shy. Good times...

Because hope springs eternal (and next spring, after a long Indiana winter, I'll probably have forgotten all my grief and be anxious to get outside and plunge my hands into some dirt) I put in a large-ish fall crop of sugar snap peas. Yum!

Close your eye's if you're squeamish but here are some country-type things. Yes, a giant yellow and black spider (the body is about 1.5 inches) and two grasshoppers who decided to get kinky and do it on our rocking chair. Somehow I don't have a picture of the two-inch long water beetle that showed up in a five gallon bucket full of rain water, though my fearless daughter didn't mind picking it up with her hands. Also not pictures are many spiders with big, fat, squishy looking bodies (which my daughter did NOT pick up), thankfully all living outside.

So what's the total look like? We last left it at $445.
1 zucc - $1
1 cucumber - $1
Pepper - $1
Melons - $1
Beets - $2
Pictured above - $3
Lots of tomatos - $7
Carrots - $1
Mini-Cabbage - $2
Corn - $1
Which brings the total cost down to $425.

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