Jul 21 2009

The Squash that Ate Quincy

A couple years ago, I built a simple set of compost bins that we keep behind the garage.  It’s two 3x3x3 bins, made of chicken wire wrapped around a 2×4 frame, with a piece of trellis tacked on the front as a sort of gate that can be removed to shovel out the compost.

Last fall, we saved some squash back so we could save the seeds, but we never got around to it. Eventually they went bad, so we tossed them in the compost bin. One of those seeds sprouted this spring, and it’s trying to take over like Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors.

Squash Taking Over

Squash Taking Over

It was actually worse this morning before I went out and chopped it off the neighbor’s fence, and the other side gets cut off regularly when we drive over it.  It’s starting to look a little sickly, so I’m almost hoping it’ll die off soon so I can return it to the earth from whence it came and start using that bin again.

The strange thing is the squash it’s setting on—they don’t look like any of the ones we threw away. It must have been a cross between two varieties. We grew these in the community garden last year, so there were lots of other squash they could have crossed up with. Another possibility would be regression from a hybrid, but I don’t think any of the squash we planted last year were hybrids. As long as it’s edible.

Mystery Squash

Mystery Squash

Aside from the squash, there are some other volunteers. There’s a tomato plant coming out of each end of the bins, but they’re just starting to set on fruit, so I can’t tell what variety they are yet. This one looks a little beat up because I just got done pulling it off the fence, and they’re not getting much sun being in the shade of all those squash leaves, but I think they’ll still produce.

Volunteer Tomato

Volunteer Tomato

The other volunteer is a dill plant.  I’d forgotten we even grew dill last year, because we never harvested it, but it looks like we’ll get another try.  It smells very good; makes me want to get some cucumbers and make fridge pickles.  Dill weed (the greens of the dill plant are called “dill weed”; it’s not just a name kids call each other) is really good in scrambled eggs, too.

Volunteer Dill

Volunteer Dill

So we’ll be getting some bonus produce this year aside from what we planted in our little gardens.  I’ll get some pictures of everything else up soon for another update.

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