Driving Ms. Nancy???

Nancy got behind the wheel again for the first time in months. She’s seeing better than she was before all this started so we were pretty confident she could make the short drive from our house to downtown Pierson – about 3 miles. The Toyota was in the shop and George was not available so we decided to give it a try. No problem. She drove to the shop with me at shotgun and I followed her home. She drove like most Florida senior citizens. I wouldn’t have any concerns with her driving when necessary but the plan is still for me to be the primary driver until the doctor gives her the green light. So Nancy passed her test drive – the Toyota, not so much. When I got a couple miles down the road, the check engine light came on. Back to the shop.

Is it possible to have too much broccoli? Yes. I don’t think I planted more than usual but it sure seems that we’re getting more out of it. Each plant puts out a single large head just like you see at the produce market but what you don’t see are the small, side heads that grow out after the main head is harvested. You pick the side heads and, as if by magic, more side heads appear within just a few days. I think my neighbor is picking less too. They’re not big on anything green other than cucumbers. They have picked a little kale and maybe some collards but not much beyond that even though there are enough of both to feed 6 families. oh well. Interestingly, what hasn’t been producing (yet) are the cauliflower plants. Why that’s interesting is that all of a sudden the vegan crowd has latched onto cauliflower and the price has gone totally out of sight – I’ve seen it as high as $8 for a single head. I guess much of it is normally grown in Arizona and California but both areas have cut way back due to water issues. I really don’t know why my plants just aren’t as good as usual – you’d think if the broccoli were doing well, their white sister would too but mine must have gotten the word from the west to hang back this season. But all in all, I think I did a much better job this year of pacing the planting so that the harvest is more continuous. Unless we have weird weather, we should still be picking cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, chard, peas, carrots, collards, kale and lettuce until late March.

And all six of the summer squash plants are thriving under the protection of the water walls so it’s possible we’ll be eating squash just about the time I’m normally planting the seed. It’s usually a race between us and the bugs as to which gets to eat squash. Last year was theirs. My plan is that this extra early start will give us the edge and to further insure that, I’ve planted a few onions and garlic plants right alongside the squash. The theory is that those particular plants will ward off the feared and dreaded aphids. I read that nasturtiums will also scare squash bugs so I’ll be putting nasturtium seed all around the squash plants.

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