Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pickles and Pests

Eric and I had 10 cucumbers ripe at one time. Perfect. We put together a batch of bread and butter pickles, which are not only my favorite kind of pickle anyway, but are tons easier than the ones you have to soak in a brine for 2 or 3 days. So here they are!
On a more tragic note: we lost 3 of our 6 zucchini squash plants almost over night because of squash vine borers. A fourth is in critical condition after undergoing intensive surgery. Inexperienced physician-- me. Eric keeps teasing about a malpractice lawsuit if the plant doesn't recover. Well, I was willing to try anything. Those nasty lil vine borers took our other 3 plants so quickly, I felt helpless so see them go from lush and fruitful to yellow and flopped on the soil within 24 hours. And with this 4th plant, as soon as I saw the entry hole with sick worm excrement leaking out of it I knew we would lose it too if I didn't do something. Rodale's suggests injecting with nematodes, which I figured would be the least amount of stress to the plants, but I went to 3 garden centers and none of them carried any. It must be a newer technology for fighting these nasty grubs. My only option, then, was to slice part of the stem, peel back the layers, find the grubs and kill them by hand, and bury the surgical site as best as possible to allow it to heal. Well, I did my best. Found 3 gross fat white grubs chomping on the inside stem of my precious yellow crookneck squash. They are dead now. Compost.

I've been babying the plant since. It is flopped and dead looking. All those beautiful 7-9 squash still only 2 inches at the longest. I really understand the scripture "it greiveth me that I should lose this tree" and I haven't even been laboring in the garden for more than a summer cultivating these seeds. Oh, the absolute agony our Lord must feel when he sees mankind falling from healthy faith into decay of apostasy. His hope lies in the faithful. My hope lies in the 5 small and young leaves that haven't yet succumbed to the stress and loss of 3/4 of their stem lifeline. I am praying the plant pulls through. If not, I will be very sad. Those nasty lil buggers. Anybody else lose their squash to these disgusting vine borers?


  1. Not those, but squash beetles are plentiful. Hope your plant recovers!

  2. My mom used to make bread and butter pickles all the time while I was growing up. I loved 'em! Way to go and store up!! And good luck with your squash. Sadness.