Thursday, July 08, 2004

How do they do it?

Vegetables in the squash family never cease to amaze me. Like babies, they grow measurably overnight. But I've never seen a baby quadruple its size in eight hours! (And I don't want to, thanks.)

Thus it is that I am faced with several quite large pickling cucumbers this morning. Not enough for actual pickling, to be sure, but enough for a little test run of the non-canned variety.

At the same time, I suddenly have a basket full of about 20 or 25 tomatilloes, which are bordering on too-ripe and need to be made into salsa as soon as I can get to the store to grab a couple of supplies (cilantro, tortilla chips, etc.). Tomatilloes may not be squashes, but they are impressive in their own right.

We have received a missive from the mayor of our little town, reminding us townsfolk of the permanent watering ban in Georgia. I approve heartily of this measure. Despite our recent heavy rains, Georgia has had a severe drought for years now, and the ever-spreading suburbs in the Atlanta metro area (and elsewhere) have sucked our aquifers nearly dry. The letter mentioned that our town's water comes from two deep wells, which I didn't know.

The ban does make an exception for personal food gardens, which is why I was able to open the valve on our irrigation system for a brief period this morning and save our slightly limp pumpkin vines and tender new bean plants from extinction. I have been letting everything dry out for several days now, but as of today things were getting pretty arid. Drought...storms...drought...more drought...storms...drought... Count me in as a believer in global warming.

I can't understand people who water their lawns. If you need to water your grass constantly, it is a sure sign that either (a) you have the wrong kind of grass, or (b) you are a little too invested in the greenness of your lawn. Probably both. Don't people know that grass is supposed to brown out by the end of the summer? Hasn't it occurred to people that the water might be better used elsewhere? Talk about Hank Hill Syndrome.

For my money, I'd rather have squashes and cucumbers.