Squash, Frost, Babies, and Kiwi

October 6th, 2009

I’ve been a busy bee. Not blogging though. My last post, prior to this one, was July 30th. On August 1st my wife went back to work, which left work-at-home dad (aka me) as sole caretaker during the day for our then 2 month (now 4 month) year old son. I’ve hardly had time to harvest food from the garden, and not even always that, let alone do any gardening and or blogging about it.

But, it is time to start again, so let me say, I hate frost. This year we had a really cold early Spring but then it warmed really quick so we had a warm late Spring, with no late frosts. What a wonderful way to start the year. Then, of course, we had a really cold summer, so cold that plant growth and flowering was severely retarded. Then, October 1st, we get a freak early frost, and man I hate it. Going to bed earlier because of the baby so I didn’t watch the 11 o’clock news to see it coming. So I put down no protection, and my winter squash, which needed until probably mid october, all but died.

But, it isn’t dead. The vine lives, a few leaves live, and if it warms back up (it has been cold and dreary since) it may still grow some, maybe. We’ll see. It has squash on it, they merely need to mature.

This frost was so early that the mums had just started to bloom and some of my hardy hibiscus were still blooming, and those are summer flowers (but as I said, cold weather retarded things all summer).

One thing it did not claim was my hardy kiwi. For the first time, ever, my kiwi flowered and fruited. I don’t know if the vine finally reached maturity to do so, I planted as a seedling in 2004. Or it could be that it always gets hit by late frosts. No late frost this year, but if I had left the fruit on the vine another week it might have been hit by the early frost, wouldn’t that have been ironic?

I’m liking the kiwi, my 5 year old vines (one female, one male) yielded 7 pounds of the small quarter-sized fruit. Well, there was probably 8 pounds on the vine, but I couldn’t reach them all for picking. They’re smaller and more nutritious than the fuzzy kiwi most people know, and you can grow some varieties as north as zone 4. There is one variety called Michigan State, hybridized about a mile from where I live, but I didn’t know that when I bought my vines so I bought some generic variety, which is probably why it is more vulnerable to late Spring frosts. The plant is a vigorous grower (lots of pruning to keep it from going where you don’t want it) but overall is very attractive and works even as an ornamental vine. No pest or disease problems that I’ve seen, japanese beetles slightly like it, but they’re easily dealt with.

I’ve seen on another blog where the first year with fruit the girl got only a handful of fruit, so I’m glad I got as much as I did. You eat them whole, and they taste just like kiwi. When they’re really ripe they have a minty taste. You can also apparently make jam and whatnot with them. The fruit keeps well in the fridge too. This will definitely be a vine I plant wherever I live.

One Response to “Squash, Frost, Babies, and Kiwi”

  1. krishna  Says:

    i like this photo

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