One of my garden goals was realized this year. Due to the varieties grown and our above-average rain and warmth this year, we have achieved “Squash-henge,” the name our family has given to the pergola completely covered with squash and gourd vines. Surprisingly, most of the upright-growing squashes don’t have any powdery mildew even though we had over 12 inches of rain in July. The exception is the ‘Kumi Kumi’ squash we are testing this year—a bit of it is visible on the upper left foreground of the photo below.
I also am posting a picture of one night’s harvest a couple of weeks ago, below. Included in the picture are some of this year’s test varieties: green ‘Cajun Belle’ peppers, ‘Pinot Noir’ peppers, and ‘Midnight Lightning’ zucchini. We love to make “no-fry stir-fry” for supper. Make some couscous, cut up all the veggies like you would to stir-fry them, add the swelled couscous, and dress the mixture with a blend of olive oil, toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger, soy, and lemon juice or whatever seasonings you like in your stir-fry. Let it sit and marinate for a half hour then eat. Yum! And no standing over a hot stove in the summer.
The ‘Cajun Belle’ peppers are a winner here. Good size for use at the green or lightly colored stage in a single serving salad, and when they get red and hot, they are a great addition to our salsas and other recipes where heat is welcome. They are not as hot as a jalapeño and the burn goes away quite quickly. They are prolific enough that we may try drying some red ones and making some chili powder out of them. The ‘Pinot Noir’ bells were very quick to take off, however they slowed way down after their first flush of fruit. I will probably grow these again since they were earlier than the other varieties I grow.
The ‘Midnight Lightning’ zucchini is another winner. This plant started producing earlier than any of our others and is still pumping out several zukes a week. The plant itself has stayed pretty compact for a summer squash too.