Veggie plots and zucchinis

Vegetable season has begun!!

I have always been a gardening guy. When I was a young kid, I had my first veg garden. It was in our house’s tiny back yard, but hey, it still was a vegetable plot!! It may have been a north-facing plot sandwiched between a 3-metre hedge and a wall, but stuff grew on it. I probably harvested some green peas, a carrot and three potatoes, but it was worth it.

My first few jobs were gardening and nursery jobs. Even now, as an ecologist, I probably enjoy working with the plants in the greenhouse and in the field the most out of anything job-related.

For the past twelve years, though, I haven’t had a garden (granted, I created some pretty crazy indoor tropical jungles in my student rooms, with my tropical plant collection in combination with my reptiles and spiders, but I digress). So, when one of my colleagues, Jon, proposed to share a vegetable garden plot between us and two other colleagues, I was pretty happy.

The garden looked like shit. Everything was completely overgrown with weeds and there was a huge hole dug on one side of it (judging from the tractor tracks that ended right in the middle, I believe this hole swallowed a farmer once, tractor and all). It took Jon, Paul, Heike and me the better part of a Saturday to til the whole goddamn plot (about 150 square metres) and remove most of the root pieces of nasty brambles, Convolvulus sp., and a lot of Aegopodium podagraria. I hate that crap, although it’s supposed to taste good.

garden
Imagine this place. Minus the veg and fence. Minus the plots. Add weeds and messy looks. That was two months ago.

Anyhow, we sowed a bunch of things, mostly very old seeds that I wasn’t so sure about anymore.

That was April, let’s fast-forward to a few days ago. We harvested the first zucchinis!! 🙂 The first self-grown vegetable in many many years. Satisfaction levels went through the roof.

zucchini
We probably will die of zucchini poisoning this year- I hope I just made that up… what I mean to say is we have loads of them… 🙂 But they are good!

So yeah, most of those seeds were still viable (isn’t that amazing? 10 year old stuff still germinates just fine, I know it is true for many wild species, but I had expected artificial selection to lead to weak crap seeds. I guess I was wrong)

 

It took a bit of conquering weeds and then the Colorado beetles came in, but I think now we mastered the situation and I feel like we are in charge. For now.

I’ll update every now and then 🙂

 

 

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of one but almost two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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