Aug 10


Community Garden: Successes and Setbacks

It must be a curious sight indeed to drivers passing by to see me leaning against my car, swapping my flip-flops for gross-o rubber boots (which pair fabulously with my work clothes, I might add), spritzing every square inch of exposed skin with bug spray to ward off mosquitoes, and marching into the garden with a basket and some wrinkled gardening gloves.

My plot has grown and blossomed, but it’s not all sun beams and elegant arcs of water pouring from a brushed steel watering can. There’s been a tragedy.

During my week of vacation, an army of squash bugs infiltrated plot B2 and launched an aggressive assault on my thriving zucchini plant. I returned from Colorado with hopes of zucchinis to last me through the next several weeks, but unfortunately, the damage was done.

Sadly, the whole plant had to come up, leaving me with one, last, giant zucchini to remember it by. I know that everyone, human and bug alike, needs food, but I’m still annoyed. How did they multiply so fast?! Urg.

Fortunately, all is not lost. The zucchini may be gone, but the tomatoes are ripening, the okra pods are lengthening, and I finally have some bell peppers making an appearance on their stubbly little stalks.

And it’s not just veggies. The okra, for instance, has surprised me with stunning, delicate yellow blossoms. Who knew?

Plus, the sunflower saga continues. No blooms yet, but the heads are beginning to form, waaaaaaay up in the sky.

Seriously, they’re seven feet tall. I think the seed package said 4-6 feet. Surprise!

With luck, I’ll still be able to reach them when it’s time to snip a bouquet that promises an explosion of gold, orange, magenta, and pink to help ring in the fall.

But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Fall is still several weeks away, and even without the zucchini, there is still plenty of harvest to enjoy as the summer draws to a close. Already, I have more jalapenos than I know how to use (there are 23 in my fridge…. I was totally expecting like, 10 total) and the basil situation is getting a little absurd. I mean, can one have too much pesto?

I just may find out this summer.



  1. Sarah says:

    About the jalepeno situation..have you ever made pico de gallo? I bought Pioneer Woman’s cookbook and she has an excellent recipe (I mean, seriously delish if you can handle a bit of a spicy kick) for pico de gallo using 1-2 jalepenos. Throw a big party and triple that, and you could use quite a few!! I myself am also a huge fan of jalepeno poppers…although I’ve never tried to make them, I’m sure there are recipes out there…

    1. Sara says:

      Haven’t tried this yet, but saw it in my Cooking Light magazine last month (I think) and can’t WAIT to try it. It’s received mostly rave reviews on the website, which is certainly promising.

      1. Kristi @ 30 Pounds of Apples says:

        Those look delightful. Totally added to the list.

    2. Kristi @ 30 Pounds of Apples says:

      Hmm I may have to try that one. Pico de Gallo is not usually my salsa of choice, but the Pioneer Woman has yet to steer me wrong.

  2. Kathrine says:

    With the basil surplus you can make basil minus the cheese (it does not freeze well) and freeze it in ice cube trays to last you through the winter. I did it last year and when a cube was thawed out, I’d mix it with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

    1. Kristi @ 30 Pounds of Apples says:

      Haha I already have 4 quarts of frozen pesto cubes. I actually freeze mine with the cheese, it seems to work pretty well for me. Maybe I’ll try a tray or two without and see which method I prefer when I unfreeze them this winter. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Hannah says:

    Hey Kristi! I’ve been enjoying your blog!

    My three zucchini plants succumbed to the same sad little death one after the other after the other. So sad.

    Here are a couple ideas of what to do with those jalapenos. I haven’t tried them myself but they look mighty tasty and are on my summer time to-do list.

    1. Kristi @ 30 Pounds of Apples says:

      Hi Hannah! So sad that you lost 3!! I even tried using diatomaceous earth, soap spray, and other organic methods, but to no avail. I’m gonna have to do some more research for next year!

  4. Monica says:

    you crack me up!

    1. Kristi @ 30 Pounds of Apples says:

      I’m glad :)

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