Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Planting Fool

By now you've heard about my over planting of zucchini problem.  People always ask me, "Oh, you should make zucchini bread!  Do you ever do that?" 

Yes.  Yes, I've made zucchini bread!  Do you know how much zucchini it takes to make zucchini bread?  About two cups.  Shredded.

These were just some of the zucchini left over from last year after I had made 672 batches of zucchini bread, 14 zucchini lasagnas, zucchini pancakes, zucchini chips, zucchini pizza, dressed them up in costumes and gave them as gifts, handed them out to friends and family and people on the street, and carried one around like a baby for a week. 

What I didn't mention last fall was what we did with all of these over-sized zucchinis at the end of the season.  As much as I would love to say we loaded them in a semi-truck and brought them to a food shelter, we took the easier route of just dumping them into our compost pile in the middle of our field to rot.  Compost, we've learned is great for the soil in the vineyard, so it is convenient to have it right there.

The other morning when I went out to snap some pictures of the shiny red wagon and walked past the compost pile, I noticed that it didn't look like a compost pile at all.  It looked like a green and leafy full-of-life giant garden mound. 

At first it looked like pumpkins, which would have been awesome since our pumpkin patch is looking sparse this year.  And we did also throw old pumpkins into the compost pile.

I got a little closer to see what in the world was growing ALL OVER our compost pile. 


Unbelievable.  I was too incredulous to take the time to count the mound of zucchinis that had self-reproduced from last year's decomposing vegetables, but let's just say it's a lot. 

This is my real garden.  The one where I deliberately planted zucchinis this year. 

When we had the frost in early May, the plants didn't come up, so I planted a few more.  Then when my nieces came over to help, they were really excited about the zucchinis, so I let them plant a few more.  And then they all came up, so I had alatta zucchini to begin with just in the garden. 

Not to mention the 15 lettuce plants, 7 cucumber plants,

13 bean plants, 27 tomato plants and 32 pepper plants. 

Oh, and the 3500 grapevines that require major attention.

Why?  Why do I do this? 

What makes me think I am some gardening goddess capable of managing this many plants?  I think it has a little to do with the fact that I have a lot of garden space to fill, I have no planting strategy other than just dumping seeds in the ground or transferring anything that looks alive from the greenhouse to the garden, and I plan for lots of plants not making it so I plant extra just in case.  I'm a planting fool.

Note to self for garden planning next year:  A little goes a long way, Aaron gets sick of eating vegetables for dinner every night by about mid-July, and be careful what I compost. 

In the meantime...Help!  What can I do with all these zucchinis?