Saturday, August 28, 2010

Futsu Squash

Somewhere I read that pumpkin seeds prevent worms in chickens. I don't think you have to worry too much about chicken problems when they're well fed and watered and not too crowded and allowed to range, but why take the chance. Last year the school where I work had "Trunk or Treat" and something that involved a lot of pumpkins. I mentioned in passing that if they had any extra pumpkins to sit them by my door instead of tossing them. Um, little did I know I'd have to call Handy Man to come with the truck to haul them all home. We stuck them in the shed and the chickie girls dined on fresh pumpkin nearly the whole winter long.
This year I decided I'd try a couple of different types of squashy, melony things, since we were having an up garden and a down garden. I chose things that advertised a thick skin, hoping to keep some again throughout the winter. I know this type of plant is a nutrient suck, so I dumped a lot of chickie compost where I planted the futsu seed. There were only about ten seeds in the pack, so you can imagine my disappointment when only two seeds germinated. Note to self- no more futsu seed from this company. Again, little did I know. Am I sounding like a broken record? If all ten seeds had germinated in that lovely chickie compost, we'd be having to chop our way out of the house every morning.
This picture was taken about three weeks ago. The bush you see is several feet out of the garden where the seeds were planted an it's grown many feet beyond that and way around the left, entirely blocking the garden entrance. It's half again as big now, has nearly covered the raspberry patch and half way through the garden. I found one futsu that was completely flat on one side where the down garden bunny was gnawing it. I picked it and gave it to the girls. Later, I discovered it hadn't been touched. Great, I have a horizontal Jack in the Beanstalk plant and nothing to eat the fruit-well, there was the bunny. When I looked closer, I realized poor bunny did not make it all the way through to the meat and seeds, so I set about to pry that puppy open so the girls could try it. It took stinkin' forever to get through that hull. When I finally did, the girls loved it and now it's just a withered shell. I'm wondering if these squash would keep even longer than winter with that thick shell.

Just talked to Kaye. She if feeling a little better. I tried to tempt her to ride out here if I fixed her some fried green tomatoes-no luck. Her procedure is at 5:30 am on Monday morning. Which means poor Pete will have to get her up and about at 4 o'clock. Love their hearts, as my Aunt Lois would say.

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