–Marcelle St Germain and Michael Tierney
One of the great pleasures of gardening (and composting) are the surprises that come up in the garden (and the compost pile). Birds and squirrels spread seeds before our dogs chase them off. We don’t get around to clearing a particular patch until later in the season and mysterious things happen in compost piles.
Over the years, our most common “perennials” include pumpkins, tomatoes, and butternut squashes. This summer we were pleased to have a dozen sunflower plants, none of which we intentionally planted.
The compost pile is always a rich source of surprise. This year we found a thriving butternut squash plant that looked so healthy that we “let it grow.”
And then there are the hybrids—what we call Squashini.
Squashinis frequently frighten the volunteers we have staying with us in summer programs. Although one year, a brave full year VISTA organized a meal around the presentation of some particularly large orange zucchini shaped offerings (baked and stuffed and everyone survived).
What’s your favorite garden volunteer story (the vegetable not the human weeding kind?) Any good recipes for the fruits that don’t quite look like they should have occurred outside a laboratory?