Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Prize Zucchini

We just finished our second summer at our home and vineyard in Waconia. While one thing after another on our 12 and a half acres has been a new discovery, or new learned hobby, I thought I would start this blog off with one thing that has been defining of my breakthrough to the argicultural life: The Garden.

While Aaron grew up on a farm and has researched extensively on growing a vineyard, I think it is worth noting that my knowledge of planting and gardening prior to the summer of '08 was...about nothing. The closest I had come to gardening was watering the indoor plants as one of my chores growing up in Minnetonka. But since I moved from a 730 sq. ft. condo onto a farm with an existing 1000 sq. ft. garden alone, I decided I better embrace this gardening thing and prove that I am capable of growing something that is meant to be consumed. That first year, I let Aaron tackle the 10 acres of farmland where we started growing the vineyard, and I got my feet wet on a smaller scale.
Last year, we did a little bit of gardening ourselves, but mostly decided to wait and see what came up so we knew what we were working with. What we found were onions growing nonsensically all over the garden, an old strawberry patch in the middle with some sad looking strawberries, and what appeared to us as weeds, which we realized after seeing what we were calling "garden shrubs" grow into out-of-control vampire bushes that were impossible to kill.
Lesson learned. This past spring we tilled up the entire garden, strawberry patch and all, and started from scratch. On the garden menu this past summer: zucchini, summer squash, carrots, green beans, canteloupe, tomatoes, mixed peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, and radishes. While everything came up, there was one prize vegetable. The zucchini. They grew. And grew. And grew. I couldn't keep up with harvesting them, eating them, cooking them, and giving them many stayed and kept growing. Which means that I now have about 20 giant sized zucchinis that remain there today. I was disappointed to find out this year I missed the deadline for the Carver County Fair garden submissions. My zucchini would have kicked butt over the blue ribbon winner. 2010-Bring it!

I'll wrap up with a few pictures. One of me in August 2006 at the M.A.C store in uptown trying out some new lipstick colors with girlfriends. If you had told the girl on the left in this picture, that exactly three years later she would be a growing giant zucchinis in her garden and striving for a blue ribbon at the Carver County Fair, she may have stepped on your foot with her spiked heel. Yet, here she is proud as can be.