Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Boundary issues.

See that vine along the fence there? That's the birdhouse gourd vine. It's planted just to the right of the tomato plants...underneath it's highest point is the ladder it uses to climb up.
As you can see, it spreads. A lot. It goes about 8 feet to the left of the ladder and about 8 feet to the right. It has covered my mulch pile. It has grown along the support on the left that was intended for peas and cucumbers and beans. It has completely taken over the pole beans..and the poles!...that were planted nearby. I must admit...a birdhouse gourd probably isn't the best idea for a small backyard garden. I doubt that the square foot gardening guy would have included this baby in his plans. But if you remember, there was a point at the beginning of this whole crazy gardening thing that I decided to just have fun with it all. And to experiment. And learn. So that's what I did. And the birdhouse gourd was a part of that. And it was worth it...what a fun plant to grow!
Not only is the vine amazing. It also produces these silly shaped gourds!
This is our fourth gourd. And it's very possible that this is going to be our last gourd...of the year, anyway. The vine is slowly being taken over by that darn powdery mildew. I've kept it at bay but I'm thinking it's time to pull the vine, anyway, and make room for some fall plantings. I'm wanting to try some greens...another round of beans...maybe some peas...onions and garlic for next summer...maybe some beets and radishes, maybe I can squeeze some in before it gets too cold. I may even try some broccoli. I try to stick with foods we like to eat.
But...I have to say...it's good to grow new things because there's something about growing it yourself that makes it taste that much better. Plus, when you grow it, you want to eat it and not let it go to waste. Take our peppers, for instance. We grew banana peppers and Anaheim peppers this year. We were going to roast them and freeze them for paninis. Well...we ended up grilling some the other night and it turned out we liked them just lke that...grilled with a little olive oil and Kosher salt...as a side dish! You never know what you're going to like until you try it...right?
So...I'm thinking that I'll try a few fall plantings to broaden our food horizons. Parsnips? Turnips? Kale? Chard? Why not? And if we don't like it...then we just won't grow it next year. Pretty simple.


WhiteStone said...

A friend creates lovely hand-crafted baskets and bowls from dried birdhouse gourds. She uses a wood burning iron (remember them from childhood projects?) to create designs. Then she drills holes along the edge of the bowl and weaves inn raffia or whatever. Fun and beautiful projects.

Anonymous said...

i like your thinking. only plant what we will eat. i want to try broccoli too. and the scale, love it. have you had that a long time or is it a recent thrift find?

Elaine said...

4.5 lbs! Nice! Love the vine. Can't wait to hear about the growing of broccoli.....that will be very interesting, indeed.

Kelly said...

I have grown very fond of Chard, and become friends with Kale this year.

Another fine gourd you have there! Did you ever determine how long it requires to dry?

Anonymous said...

can i just say that i am in awe of your gardening skills. and even though you say it's all out of control, it's absolutely gorgeous.

i pulled my nasty borer eaten squash plants out and threw in the compost last week.

i have to say that the birdhouse gourds are a wise investment and how much fun have they been?

Wren said...

Love the gourd! I think it's great you planted the vine. I love "coverage". Would have tried that in my apartment living days if I had known! I can just see the gourds dropping from my balcony...

Love the scale. I just bought one at a kitchen surplus store too - so I could weigh everything this year. For honey packaging too.

Put 2.5 pound of red/green peppers in the freezer last night. Getting down to the end here. BUT A,V,M has my wheels SPINNING. You were so right...life changing..!!!

Kimberly said...

I did birdhouse gourds last year. Loved them! The leaves are sooooo soft! They're cured now and I need to start decorating them.