Edible Exodus Part 3: Squash to the bunny-wolves

Underperforming yellow squash goes outdoors

Four or five leaves and a lot of courage on this squash

It was with very little hope that I transplanted an under-performing yellow squash into a soggy dirt patch next to the sprinkler puddle near the only evergreen in our front yard.

From 4:00 to 6:00 each morning, the sprinkler leaves a watering hole at the base of the pine. What better place, I thought, for an indoor squash to get its outdoor legs?

It’ll either grow like mad and develop leaves the size of yoga mats like its big brother in the dining room, or get eaten by the bunnies who stop in for lunch.

So I hardened my heart and planted the listless thing. It languished, one thin frond draped into the puddle, sighing softly as it awaited its doom. Note: Time of demise 07:55 a.m. Tuesday June 12, 2012. I wished it a safe trip to the big Garden in the Sky, and went on with my morning rounds.

Surprise! When noon came around, the bunnies kept their distance, feeding on a patch of tall something on the other side of the pine, and ignoring the squash.

This morning it looks even happier, even perky – if that term could be applied to a yellow squash. Maybe there is compassion in the animal kingdom. We’ll see how things look after today’s lunch rush.

The Edible Exodus Part 2: The Great Potato Migration of 2012

Enough vine action to hide a careful cat!

The potato vine formerly known as dead is now quite alive. What I’d previously thought was dearly departed seems to have revived itself to the point that its vines have taken over about 15% of the dining room.

However, said potato vine has helped highlight one of the downsides of indoor gardening: Indoor bugs.

Last week I mentioned having to exile a rather large flat of starter seeds and seedlings nestled in cardboard rolls due to a cloud of little gnats. Well, multiply that by a few gazillion (ok, dozen) and you’ll see the effect of this potato plant on our indoor peace of mind.

At least these gnats are small and not very energetic. They work up enough power to buzz around feebly before sitting down to rest for a few minutes. They can’t get far. I sympathize – that’s about how I feel most days.

But that minor buzzing-around (and the fact that two of them landed too close to my coffee cup this morning) is enough to exile them to the outer realms of gardenville. So this morning, the newly energetic potato plant got introduced to the Front Porch.

Last I looked, near dusk, the newly exiled still energetic potato vine was winding its limbs around the pots containing the Evecheria and Cousin Bob, having a grand old time trading tall tales about amateur gardeners, and waiting for the rabbits to show up for dinner.

We’re Hunting Wabbits

Snowshoe Hare / Lièvre d´Amérique

Adorable even while devouring your herb garden

Escrow closed this afternoon, after a long weekend of stress, nail-biting, hyper-imaginative panic attacks (what happens if they don’t close on time? do we lose the house? will we have to start house-hunting all over? are we out a gazillion bucks in closing costs?!).

Our real estate broker and I collapsed in relief against the butcher block island in the middle of the kitchen, toasting each other with imaginary Chablis in imaginary stemware. I paused and gazed out over a couple of acres of empty desert –

– and spied the first rabbit.

Oh, yes. Apparently rabbits are quite populous in this new neighborhood – a pest I hadn’t included  in my garden daydreams, since we’ve lived next to a major highway for 25-plus years. But now, up the desert hillside as we are, little fuzzy-eared new-plant-chomping varmints are going to be a very real gardening challenge.

Visions of meandering, bedecked in my Katharine Hepburn garden hat and gloves,  through a small field of budding flowers and vegetables popped like soap bubbles, leaving behind a residue that looked a lot like blobs of hastily planted chicken wire.

I wonder if they’d be scared away by a coyote replica …