Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August - the noble month

In the New England garden, August reigns supreme. Like its Roman emperor namesake, the eighth month of the year bestows upon its lowly subjects a great but infrequent largesse. This August, the largesse is in butternut squash and cucumbers. The squash are far from their harvest date, but the vines are spreading like kudzu over the woodpiles, driveway and stepping area in front of the garden beds.

August is sort of the botanical version of Tax Day, where you find out how much you will receive for your tax return, except that you are paid in zucchini and cucumbers instead of greenbacks. Filing tax returns always involves some.suspense and anticipation, as you never really know what the final balance will be. Similarly, August will produce a bumper crop of green beans one year and volleyball-sized melons the next. There's often no prediicting which plants will produce like crazy and which will shrivel up and die or limp along barely surviving the Japanese beetles. Before we left for vacation in the second half ofJuly, the squash was underperforming,but what a change when we returned two weeks later!

I'll post photos soon -you won't believe it!

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