This song has been on my mind the past few days, given the intense weather we have experienced here in the normally cold and dreary Boston. If people can’t complain about the cold or the dreariness, they will complain about the heatwave! I just can’t find it within me to complain about warmth and sunshine when I spend so much time the rest of the year wishing it would come back. So I welcomed the heatwave with open arms. As did our heat-loving vegetables!
Sam and I were on a trip to New York City during the hottest part of the heatwave, and when we came back, everything had exploded! Figuratively, of course. Literal zucchini explosions would probably not have been the best, though our zukes did get so big it looked like they were on the verge of spontaneous combustion.
Below are some photos from the plot taken over the past few days. Our warm weather crops are really pulling through now, and seem to be doubling in size every day. Peppers! Cucumbers! Eggplant, oh lord, those glorious, beautiful eggplants! And the hallowed tomato. Sam and I enjoyed our first ripe tomato today, a squat Cosmonaut Volkov that was just this side of fully ripe. We couldn’t resist! It was tangy and sweet, and a most appreciated welcome back to the garden after our time away.
Our first fairytale eggplants are fruiting. The blossoms are beautiful in their own right, but the light purple fruit are going to steal the show when they reach their full potential.
Our sugar baby watermelon seem to triple in size every 24 hours. I think if I sat and stared at one for an afternoon I would see it stretch and grow before my very eyes.
Our wildflower border has taken off in the midsummer heat. Where only six or seven days ago it seemed scraggly, green, full of stems and void of colorful potential, we now have bursting bouquets of bright orange, deep blue, sunny yellow and creamy white. And our sunflower stalks are growing taller by the day!! I cannot wait for them to bloom. We may love our vegetables, but there’s something about the flower border that gets people off the street and into the garden. It is warm, inviting, and brings a wild, unplanned look to the prim and proper cobbled streets of Harvard square.
There was an interesting New York Times article published a few days ago about a recently-released Center for Disease Control and Prevention study. The numbers are discouraging, to say the least. Statistics like these reinforce the idea that having something as simple as a garden in a visible part of campus/Cambridge might encourage more positive eating habits in all who walk by or stop in for a minute to see what is going on. Developing a familiarity with unprocessed, fresh versions of everyday vegetables–just what they look like and how they develop– may encourage people to think twice when choosing between baby carrots and of-nebulous-corn-origin Doritos. But the statistics also point to a deeper, more ingrained problem in the way Americans conceptualize food, eating, and nutrition. It is going to take much more than a community garden in every town to change the way people think about vegetables.
And to David Bernstein– zucchini are nowhere near as intimidating as you think they are!