Friday, August 31, 2012

...Notes for the week...

1.   Zucchini Jungle!

Three zucchini  plants sounded about right.  Give them lots of water, keep the snails away... the secret for me this year was a one hose timer that attaches directly to the faucet - and automatically sends water to a soaker hose placed inside a raised bed with 18 inches of good deep soil.
Full grown Zucchini plant
The secret of good zucchini squash is to check them daily!  It is necessary to get down on hands and knees and check under and around the plants - the squash are sneaky and hide out of sight - then when you discover them in a few days they are 18 inches along...  Typically I harvest 4-7  "good sized" zucchini a day.

This is where the magic happens
Note that the veins are one way conduits, unlike the circulation system of the human -  Water and minerals enter from the soil, the leaves have special tiny openings on the bottom of the leaf to admit carbon dioxide.    Plants do not take "food" from the soil they capture sunlight energy using chlorophyll and transfer the energy to make sugar, starch, and cellulose molecules.
Female flowers have a small "zucchini" at the base, male flowers do not 
Squash blossoms are highly prized as a vegetable in their own right, the flowers can be drenched in egg and flour and quickly fried.  They also can be used to make a delicious soup.
My favorite way of cooking zucchini is with slightly caramelized onions and green peppers.  They are also good with a tomato sauce.

Zucchini have male and female flowers - females all have a small "fruit' attached
The real question is what do you do with the surplus zucchini- when they produce more than you can eat?... they are clearly too good to discard - I give them to friends, strangers.  I beg people to take them!  I have even heard of looking for people that don't lock their cars and leave them on the front seat - (I haven't used this strategy yet).

2.  Understanding the Republican Convention

With all the hype and hullabaloo associated with our political conventions.  I have found the website "Fact check. com" to be helpful in sorting out the facts.  ;  The parent group behind the site is the Annenberg foundation: Read about them here: Note that they are non partisan (they will do the same face checking for the Democratic convention).  Annenberg has a history of being a cool voice of reason in the midst of a lot of stridency.

3.  ... more photos of the high Sierra Mts...

For best viewing go to the top left corner and click on "slideshow" - it takes about 4 minutes to see the whole slideshow.

Yikes - these two zucchini were hidden in the deep leaf cover and I missed them for a few days - 24" and 16"!!