Saturday, August 14, 2010

unsolicited advice, part three: are you happy now?

A few months ago, a concerned neighbor left a note on my car kvetching about the sorry state of our parking strip. Apparently, she/he was worried about our weeds spreading to surrounding gardens. This anonymous neighbor (and I'm pretty sure I know who you are now), who evidently has a bird's eye view of our property and all the time in the world to critique my gardening skills, somehow missed the countless hours we've spent trying to battle those very same weeds over the course of the almost 20 years we've lived here.

So to make a long story even longer because I know you're just dying to find out what happened, here's the progress that has been made since my last update:

I dug out the dreaded horseradish and Canada thistles once again
and cleared the patch for phase two of what I'm now calling Operation Victory Garden.

Here's the pile of cedar 2x6's we saved from our deck remodel a couple of years ago. I've been planning on building some new raised planters with them. After scaring away about a hundred spiders, I picked through the boards and hauled them out to the sidewalk.

I measured and cut all the boards and waited for Dave to get home,
because assembling those suckers turned out to be a two person job.

While taking a break from screwing assembling the boxes, Dave inspected my weeding job and pointed out I'd missed some horseradish that was growing in the street in a crack between the curb and the asphalt.

He determined it was time to try a new method of eradication.
And discovered it takes a lot of heat to burn horseradish leaves.

In a last-ditch effort to keep the horseradish from coming up again, I decided to line all the planters with 1/4" metal screening and covered that with a layer of weed-blocking fabric. That step took a ridiculously long time, because the screening doesn't come in sizes wide enough to cover the bottom of the bed in one piece, and I figured if I didn't sew all the seams together that horseradish would certainly find its way through any crack.

My friends Iris and Laurie stopped by and helped shovel dirt for awhile.

This entire project has turned into a communal garden of sorts. Dave and I built the beds and provided the land and water, and my friend Laurie bought the dirt and helped fill all the planters in return for the use of the one farthest from the camera. We finally got all the vegetables and seeds planted at the end of June.
Here's what the garden looked like last week:

The corn is well over my head.

Laurie went on vacation, and by the time she got back,
her radishes were the size of torpedoes.

And I thought I was being smart by planting only one zucchini, but I've harvested four in the past week. (Those giant leaves hide the squash until they're the size of baseball bats!)

Anyone got any good zucchini recipes?


Tamarama said...

Check the Oregonian Food Day last week for an All Zuchini Dinner. The ginger zucchini muffins look esp. yummy.

Tamarama said...

I mean this week. See, time is not flying so after all.

cactus petunia said...

Come on over. Let's have an all-zucchini potluck!

foolery said...

What a beautiful garden! I'd kill it in one day, I swear.

I dice up zucchini and put it into chili, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, stew, whatever. Zucchini bread, of course. And my mom used to make home-made pizza for us as kids, putting zukes through the food processor and mixing it into the dough. The dough was somewhat green but VERY moist and bready.

Aunt Snow said...

Wow, what an amazing garden!! Now what does your anonymous neighbor have to say?

I made a shredded zucchini quiche - that was pretty good.