Posts tagged ‘squash’
In order to maximize energy and space in the garden, many gardeners choose to co-plant multiple crops together in the same field. In the Beach flats garden, corn beans and squash are planted together in various formations according to each gardener’s experience and traditions. Corn beans and squash co-planting is known as a three sister garden and is common in many indigenous planting traditions. There are two ways in which corn and beans are commonly co-planted in the Beach Flats Garden. The more common method involves planting the corn 1 to 2 months ahead of the beans, so the corn has time to grow. This method produces a larger yield from the corn in exchange for a smaller quantity of beans. The other method involves planting them at the same time and allowing the beans to climb over the corn as it grows. The bean yield is greater while the corn is reduced. As the beans grow they feed the soil to the benefit of the corn beans and squash in the parcel. The third sister, squash, can be seen growing in the rows. The squash plants reduce evaporation and weed growth by making shade in the parcel. Vine squash can be trained to grow down the rows to maximize the effect. However a gardener chooses to plant, if the garden has corn beans and squash, its a happy garden.
My sister Angela grew an impressive squash this year in San Lenadro, California. The variety is trombetta di albenga, and it is a long curved light green summer squash. While not grown at the Beach flats garden, I thought it was an impressive display of gardening.
Squash are abundant producers and this time of year it can be difficult to keep up with all the harvesting.
Sometimes, despite a gardener’s best efforts, the ideal harvest window on a particular vegetable or fruit is missed. This can lead to oversized fruit, overripe fruit, damage from pests, or even theft. In some cases the veggie can be saved for seeds but sometimes it is just a loss. In the case of squash you can save the seeds, but because of the nature of hybrid seeds, and the genetics of the cucurbita genus, there is no guarantee you will get the same type of squash next year. The cabbage will be edible, but less tender and sweet than if it were small. The corianed/cilantro seeds can be collected and used for planting or as a spice.
Cucurbita is a genus of plant that includes squash, melons, and cucumbers. They are dedicated growers, eager to please their gardener with a panoply of color, flavors, textures, and shapes. They can be found in all parcels throughout the garden.
The summer heat has kicked all of the garden squash into high gear. The yellow and green fruit radiate out from the plant’s core. Meanwhile the steadfast climbing squash known as “trombetta di albenga” is reaching new heights on the back fence. The skinny light green fruits are very tender and delicious.
from Friday June 22
A teacher of botanical medicine once expoused the ways and the manners of a person dedicated to plants. She said that the human should approach the plant with respect, ask for permission to harvest, water, prune, etc., and ask for forgiveness if the human hurt the plant. Humans abuse plants, she said, when they harvest or prune quickly or disrespect the plant in anyway. Conversely, a human and a plant generate a positive relationship when they base their relationship on reciprocity.
This enters my mind today because our farms plants require no human work today. It is a wonderful summer day, that if the plants required something we could easily complete such tasks. Yet, we have completed consistant heartfelt work and the plants grow, seed and die indepedently.