Squash bugs

Squash bugs

I feel like I'm walking across a recently abandoned battlefield, where the only remnants of life are a few greedy scavengers trying to find pieces of gold in dead soldiers’ pockets.  Or something like that.  We're checking for any last survivors of zucchini and summer squash in our greenhouse beds.  They had a great run-- about six weeks right at the beginning of harvest season-- but they're crashing faster than I'd imagined.  Leaves are flopped over and sticking to the black plastic underneath from the thick juices of aphids and squash bugs.  We find a handful of stunted, deformed fruit from both entire beds, deposit it half-heartedly in a crate, and quickly move on.

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Preparing for squash

Preparing for squash

It sounded so easy: "Transplant the winter squash."  They've been ready for a week or two already, so what's the big deal?  Just pop 'em in the ground.  

After a full week of trying to get such a seemingly simple project done, I am humbled.  Yes, amazed by how much zucchini is coming out of the fields, dumbfounded by how fast weeds are growing, impressed by the skill and pace of all the interns, and surprised by how much time irrigation management takes.  But mostly, I am humbled by this project that's not even close to done on the eve of our last chance for the week.

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Onions all day

Onions all day

They planted onions all day.  Patterson and Talon: yellow storage onions.  Michael, Phil, and Sophie, with Hao, Mo, and Huiyang helping until three o'clock.  Four beds that we'd prepped a couple weeks ago, covered with black plastic, and waited for the weeds to sprout and die off under the darkness.  Plants six inches apart, four rows in each bed: almost 5,000 onions.  Mo's mother is visiting from China for the next month, and she explored the fields to take photos while everyone tucked in all those plugs, one by one and two by two.

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