September 17 -22
The squirrels are laughing ( but not triumphant). My visits to the garden have been sporadic for the last several weeks largely due to a perfectly synchronized series of accidents and small decrepitudes that are clearly the results of the (pathetic) Curse of the Flea Bitten Squirrel. Although I have not always looked forward to them, I have missed the visits. One of the things that I realized/suspect early on in the Product of Eden process is that when one nurtures another living thing one also, in some mysteriously way, nurtures oneself. I am fed by the witnessing of small miracles and curiosities. It makes you look.
At this point in time the plants need less constant attention. Their growth rate has slowed, the SVB are no longer a threat and they have received their last bordo spray for the season. Cindy has been faithfully watering. There are three more babies in the moulds and, because of the wet weather, I should keep an eye on them lest they rot in the womb. At this point it is a bit of a balancing act between growing noses and not rotting.
The only real concern at this point is the increased aggressiveness of the fuzzy you-know-whats. I feel that I have to check the netting thoroughly every few days to find the spots that they have started to chew through and coat the likely chew spots with the inferno-like concoction (to make it taste less appealing – it doesn’t seem to work- but maybe it is slowing them down) and to sew up the holes. Some of the favoured chew spots are beginning to look like the navigation maps of South Sea Islanders.
Monday September 13
I went to the gallery relatively late today. This was because of gathering ingredients for the antisquirrel concoction that I wanted to apply to the back part (squirrel facing) part of the netting plus corners. When I got home on Sunday I found a few recipes on the net – none guaranteed to work – squirrels are persistent – perhaps nature has selected for the hot sauce loving ones in urban garden areas. I had put the concoction in my sprayer but the gunk kept on clogging so I borrowed a gallery paintbrush to spread it. This turned out to be a good idea – because I discovered some nibbled bits fairly close together but not yet big enough for a squirrel. So I sewed them up. I think it may take a bit of time to make big enough holes – possibly because their frivolous nature makes them susceptible to interruptions. Good! – I will carefully check the netting every day and take perverse pleasure in foiling the efforts of these silly scrofulous beasts.
Saturday September 12
I had not expected to visit the garden today – but some of the people at the out of town gathering that I was attending wanted to drive in and see it. We noticed that a squirrel had taken a bite out of one of the new children! It really is a bit much to have gone through all of this labour and worry to have these (fairly) splendid products of eden made much less splendid because a squirrel wants to sample a bite – even though he (or she) already knows there are better things to eat than squash. Fortunately Louise found a hole at the back corner of the garden that looked squirrel sized. Once again
my trusty shoelaces were put into service with, because the gallery was open, a good staple gun.
On Tuesday I took a few large not baby squashes home. I gave one to my neighbors who (coincidentally) were standing in their back yard holding a wiggly baby girl (not theirs). I thought I ought to cook some myself – so cut up the one that I had kept , seeded skinned and boiled it. It is interesting to think that this is what the babies look like inside. The aroma was delicious but I probably should have steamed or baked it as I am afraid a lot of the flavour may be lost in the water. There was quite a lot of it in the end and I was not sure what exactly I wanted to do with it – so mushed it up and put it in the freezer to be made into countless delicious dishes in the future (hmm). I am planning to be away for the weekend so did a big water that will be repeated by Cindy tomorrow, cut off all small squash and put my last mould on the one that I allowed to
remain. That is it! – the last mould I will be putting on this season! I also added the four new babies to the garden – the most successful bearing the “eternal” crown.
What the babies look like on the inside.
on the inside
The new children in various stages of development.
new child 1
new child 2
new child 3
Saturday | Oct 2 | 10 a.m. – Noon | Free
Join us on Saturday, October 2nd from 10 a.m. to noon for your chance to bid farewell to the squash babies of Product of Eden. Enjoy a cup of coffee, meet the artist, Mary Catherine Newcomb and meet others who have watched the development of this unique outdoor exhibition. At 11:00 a.m. Gallery staff will be on hand to remove the plants and distribute the soil to those who would like some for their garden. All are welcome.
Bring your own container for soil.
[soil = 95% compost, 5% composted manure]