Clark Hollow Ramblings: Crook neck squash for all

We have been visited with an accidental and unanticipated abundance of yellow crook neck squash. Don’t get me wrong, I happen to like them, fixed in various ways, but this is crazy.

After I took up the onions about the first of July, I finally got around to digging my potatoes. Had a very nice turnout, and we are using them regularly. After the old vines had been lying in the garden drying out for a week or so, I hooked up my little chipper/shredder that attaches to the back of my rear tine tiller. As I do with the corn stalks and the dried-up sweet potatoes vines and everything else in the garden, I ground up the old potato vines.

I had planted one or two yellow squash in the spring, and they bore very well, but two people can’t eat all the squash that two plants can produce. So, you wind up with a few large, bumpy yellow squash lying around the garden. I pull them off the vines to keep them from pulling strength from the plant. When I was grinding up the potato vines, I saw two or three of these huge old squash lying there, and, well, I just threw them in the chipper/shredder.  

Then, I got the pitchfork and threw all the ground-up mulch back into the raised bed. That was sometime towards the end of July. I wish you could see that raised bed now. We have yellow crook-neck squash vines up to your waist, and they are producing squash like a factory. I have given bucketfuls to neighbors and friends and my brother, and I still have enough to feed most of the rest of Rappahannock County. I plan to pull everything I can tomorrow and take them to the food pantry.

The rest of the garden has just about given up the ghost. We still have a few tomatoes for the table, a few peppers and lima beans, and, if we get desperate, a few late beets and carrots. My late lettuce has been struggling in the heat and dry spell, but I remain hopeful it will rejuvenate if the weather changes.

It is time now to get the chimney cleaned, check my supply of firewood and heating oil and get some apples and cider for the fall. I drink the cider, and the grandkids are crazy about my applesauce. And that seems to work out pretty well.

Finally, a huge shout out of appreciation to Bill Harris for the jazz concert he and his band put on for the Flint Hill Fire Department. Is this a great place to live, or what? Thank you, Bill. Your generosity and wonderful community spirit are appreciated.

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