July 28, to August 3, 2017
Despite the heat wave hitting our area and the influx of tourists, I got a lot done this week.
Once again, I benefited from the generosity of my friends and family. In return for looking after her cat and her flowers while she was away, my neigbour allowed me to gather columbine seeds from her garden. A co-worker gifted me with a large bunch of rhubarb and a bucket of fresh picked raspberries from his yard. After visiting with my mom, she sent me home with a very large zucchini, a container of josta berries (a cross between black currents and goose berries), some lettuce, a couple hot peppers, and a dozen eggs from her chickens.
Stocking the Pantry
I froze the rhubarb, raspberries, and some of the zucchini. I attempted to make pancake syrup from the josta berries but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped. It’s still perfectly edible, so it went into the freezer along with the rest of my bounty.
I finally attacked my box of old tshirts and I am happy to say that I used most of them up by making myself some new undies and hankies. I found this pattern (from 1970!) In my pattern stash.
Unfortunately, the instructions were either not included in the package or were lost a long time ago. However, thanks to the internet, I found a several tutorials and I set to work.
I decorated the fronts of my new unmentionables with flowers I crocheted using this tutorial.
Miss Wigglyhead wanted a special tshirt to match her new pajama pants. I made a stencil from an online image and I found a tutorial for making your own fabric paint using the acrylic paints I bought last year to make the “You Rock” rock. I used the same stencil to decorate one of my new tshirt hankies, cause you are never too old for Wonder Woman.
While out in my garden, I realized that my zucchinis are not producing as well as expected. After a little research, I discovered that the sad looking yellow baby zucchinis are called “fruit abortions” and are caused by inadequate pollination.
Apparently, my squash needs a little help in the reproduction department.
I am pretty open minded when it comes to partnerships, but if I wanted to make a baby zucchini, I needed to identify what flowers were the male flowers and what flower were the female. Fortunately, this was an easy task. Male flowers have a skinny stalk and a single yellow appendage or stamen.
By contrast, the female flowers have a fatter stem that looks like it is made with a baby zucchini. This baby zucchini is the plant’s ovary. The stigma is found in the center of the female flower and it receives the pollen to be transferred to the ovary.
Once I identified who was who in my garden, I took a small paint brush, sashayed up to a good-looking boy flower, said “How you doin’?” and gently rubbed my paint brush against his stamen until it was covered in bright yellow pollen. I carried my paint brush over to the female flower, said, “what’s a good-looking flower like you doing in a garden like this?” before gently rubbing the pollen covered paintbrush against her stamen until the pollen was depleted.
I am happy to report that this human/vegetable ménage a trois has resulting in a new baby zucchini.
Hopefully the pollinators will find the new flowers when they blossom. If not, I will have my paint brush at the ready. I’m a gardener and I have needs…
How about you? Leave a comment and tell me about your week.