August 1, 2010

One Of These Things Doesn't Belong

Last night we learned an important gardening lesson: do not cook and eat a vegetable you can’t positively identify. An adventurous attitude is a good thing to have – it can lead to all kinds of wonderful experiences. At least, that's what we hope.

So, when several plants started coming up in the garden beds we decided to let them grow and be surprised at harvest time. It made sense. We knew what we’d planted in the past, and had a pretty good idea of what we’d put into the compost bin. The first surprise was that so many seeds survived the composting process and began growing when we spread compost into the beds. We stood over those little seedlings many mornings guessing what they might be. Cantaloupe, zucchini, pumpkin?

Yesterday we delightedly harvested potatoes, green beans - which we'd actually planted, and some strange squash we hadn't. We were pretty stoked to get so much of our meal from our very own garden. Weren’t we clever and headed for great gardening success.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

The wine was poured, our meal plated, we toasted our bounty, and took a first bite. I don’t know which of us made it back to the kitchen to spit it out first. Holy god, what did we just eat? I’ve never tasted anything so bitter. Swigs of wine, chunks of bread, and a dip into the sugar bowl were required to get rid of the taste.

Turns out I’d forgotten about the gourds I’d tossed into the composter a couple years ago. Gourds are vile tasting. You should never cook and try to eat a gourd. Lesson learned. We ripped out the plants this morning.


culdesacchronicles said...

Ut,oh! I'm awake at 4:30 and sitting here laughing. You've started my day of quite nicely. I think the adventurous nature of gardeners escapes the notice of those who don't garden. Dad always plants a few "mystery" seeds that he finds in an unlabeled envelope or old medicine bottle. Then he watches and waits. I love gourds and this one was quite interesting. Ha!

littlehousesouthernprairie said...

Wahahah! I mean ... I'm so sorry. ;)

Amber said...

It really was pretty, though! lol!

I'm proud of you for your garden. We have our planting beds...that's about it. haha