This year I planted corn, cucumbers and carrots. I decided that pumpkins will not grow in my shady acreage so I chose only vegetables that start with the letter 'c'. The letter 'c' loves the shade. Shade is cool, as are cucumbers. And just like corn, shade can be high as an elephant's eye, if you are standing next to an elephant. And I picked carrots because I wanted something orange to grow in the garden.
So around about the middle of July I had a couple dozen corn stalks about thigh high, three and a half rows of carrots and one cucumber plant starting to bloom. Then we went away for the weekend and in the course of two days, all of my corn stalks were trampled. After falling to my knees and shaking fists toward the sky screaming, I got out the magnifying glass to search for clues. Namely, small tennis shoe tracks. But, alas, we have pretty well behaved kids in our neighborhood, so no incriminating tracks were found. Do squirrels like to trample corn stalks and at the same time stomp on the horticultural dreams of a middle aged man just for kicks?
At least the cucumber and carrots were spared. In August, I picked no less than four six inch cucumbers before the vine dried up. I finally proved that something can grow anyway.
Last week, Number One Son and I dug up the three and a half rows of carrots. And let me tell you this, the size of the carrot showing out of the dirt at the top doesn't necessarily indicate how big the carrot under the ground is. It's somewhat like an iceberg in reverse. Usually, the iceberg under the water is much larger than the tip showing. My carrots had a top showing that was about as big around as a nickel. But when they were dug up I found out that some were about as long as a nickel as well. So quite a few carrots look more like carrot-balls than sticks.
Here is a fair representation of the range of sizes that were unearthed. Unfortunately, the produce at the left side of the picture was the most abundant. But along with the many mini carrots, there were some interesting shapes as well.
I named a few of the most unique vegetables that came out of the dirt. If you can't read the small print, it reads from left to right, Snowman, Hershey Kiss, Xmas Tree,Twister and Love.
Here's a close up of our favorite carrot of the season. I think it signifies all the love and caring I put into the garden this summer. Even though I kind of gave up after the corn stalk massacre and let nature do it's own thing.
These zucchini came from our friends garden but N1S was so impressed that he wanted to take a picture of them. He used the zucchini on the right for a gun since it grew a curved handle on the end.
But this year's zip lock baggie of carrots has encouraged me enough to probably try again next year. I will have to find some other shade loving vegetables or possibly try flowers.
Whichever I choose, you can be sure to see me in my bib overalls and straw hat endlessly toiling in the hot summer air working on my farmer's tan.