Tangled Web

 Butternut Squash bugs-eye view

Another not-fav veggie besides broccoli that is now taking over what little garden space we have inside the “compound” is the trailing vines of the aforementioned butternut squash. Too little bang for the buck, as far as I’m concerned, a single vine requires far more garden square-footage for a pound of produce compared to just about anything else of a more vertical persuasion–like corn or even beans.

But the hard Caucasian-colored goard-shaped lumps are highly prized by one of the gardeners who Must Be Obeyed. They make great tasteless custard for making pies, She says. Just add cinnamon and it tastes like, er, cinnamon!

Far as I’m concerned, the only redeeming quality of this plant is the large, fluted photogenic flowers, seen here at a bug’s-eye view. Click image for a larger version that gives a different flower, different view.

I may print this one up and follow through with my pledge to start getting some of my shots framed and on the wall, maybe even to some local galleries. Nah. I’ll just talk about it.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. We use butternut squash in place of pumpkin for pumpkin pies…betcha if you tasted and didn’t know, you couldn’t tell the difference!

    Previous post…our broccoli leaves are barely standing…don’t think we did as good a job as you picking off those caterpillars!

  2. You mean to say you don’t have your walls thickly plastered with your photos like we have ours?? How can you resist? We have them thickly lining the stairwells and on every small angle and corner in the place.
    Our town had an art festival recently, and Allen had a booth, under a borrowed EZ-Up. He bought some wire shelving cheap and made A-frames of it to hook his photos to. I e-mailed all our friends to come and they bought 11 photos for $40 each , matted but unframed. We made greeting cards with the photos and sold a few, too. It was so much fun that Allen plans to do it again next year. Don’t let on, but I think your photos are better than Allen’s and definitely deserve to see the light of day, in your home, in galleries, in art shows. DO IT!!

  3. I have to agree with you about using all that garden space for squash…although the Square Foot Garden book says you can trellis these squash/gourd plants and get better yield with fewer bugs/worms, and take up less room and have some interesting looking garden space as well.