The Birds and the Bees and the Squash…

In the past my updates have consisted of reporting on the weather, intramural sports teams named after diseases,  my travels, or the ongoing saga of my ‘call process’ (does the phrase “it’s about the journey, not the destination” come to mind?).

Just when I thought I would have to move to somewhere with ‘weather’ or begin a phd program as a method toward more intramural eligibility,  or, horror of horrors, get a ‘real job’ again, so that I would have something to report on, hope arrived…

Lately I’ve been doing some gardening.  Let’s just say, my thumb really wants to be green, but at times it appears a bit more, well, chartreuse…

At the moment I’ve got eight tomato plants (partly because I love home-grown tomatoes, partly because I am not convinced all eight are going to make it), seven green bean stalks—with more on the way, bell peppers, cucumbers, jalapeno peppers, strawberries (thanks to Wendy and Marty!) and even blueberries this year, a new item in the repertoire. And then there’s the squash. (And I know you aren’t supposed to start sentences with ‘and’ but I have decided that sometimes it is quite helpful.)

Last year I tried to plant squash, not because I love eating it so much as because there are a limited number of vegetables to choose from at the nursery and it was one of them.  My squash last year had beautiful, plentiful flowers…but then nothing. No fruit. Nada.

Not to be dissuaded, this year I once again added squash to the mix. Once again, I have had beautiful, plentiful flowers. But they keep falling off. Worse yet, there is nothing to show for them. No fruit. Not even a hint.

Yesterday, while buying compost at the local nursery (you’d never know I live in the heart of suburbia with a comment like that, now would you?!) I remembered the squash, and presented my issue to the woman ringing up my compost.

“Do you have any moths?” she asked.

Seems like kind of a personal question.  I explained to her that I have bees, hummingbirds, and an occasional butterfly, but as far as I know, no moths.

“You might have to pollinate it yourself,” she responded. Talk about too personal!

I was afraid to ask, but she must have seen the question on my face.
“Just take a Q-tip,” she continued, “and touch the male flower first, then the female, and that should do the trick.”

That’s when I thought that maybe I should just stick with the tomatoes…


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