Rachel's Table

Jungle Zucchini and Baby Birds

I visited John the other day. A visit was way overdue for two reasons. The first because the kitchen scraps I save for his compost pile were attracting flies and other vermin. The second because too much time had passed since my last visit. I was having withdrawals–the shakes and everything. John and Kathy were out in the yard when I walked up the driveway, weighted down by two buckets of smelly food waste. After John dumped what he considers smelly, nutritious goodness into the pile, he took me on a tour of the garden.

So many things happen in a garden over the course of two weeks! Astonishing!

The zucchini looked like a miniature rain forest, the corn was coming up, and the blueberry bushes I helped plant were bearing fruit! I am such a gardenerd (thanks to my friend Nicole for that moniker).

I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know how zucchini grew, so I was amazed when I saw those large jungle-like leaves and green squash emerging from a pretty yellow flower. John showed me how to twist the zucchini gently to harvest it.

Twist to harvest

Zucchini jungle

Flower power

Walking the perimeter of the garden, I noticed the peppers getting taller. I only watered them two Saturdays ago with John’s special and nutritious seaweed water. I’d like to take all the some credit for their growth. We made our way over to the row of blueberry bushes. John showed me the half pint of blueberries already picked; they were sweet and plump. The nets he threw over them to prevent the birds from enjoying their juicy goodness were working.

Blueberry bush hair net

Speaking of birds, remember the lovely blue eggs in the blue bird house?

Lovely little nest

Well, after two tries, the blue bird couple was able to keep some eggs from the sparrows (the sparrows invaded regularly to toss the eggs onto the ground). And they hatched! John lifted the lid of the bird house while I climbed up to take a closer look. Huddled together in a mass of beaks and fluffy black down were at least three baby birds.

Pile o’ baby blue birds

After John piled cucumbers, zucchini, beets, and a variety of seeds into a bag for me, he changed into his sneakers, pulled on his knee pads, and jumped into his little red Miata headed for a volleyball game. He has stores and stores of energy! I chatted with Kathy for a while and then drove the two miles home feeling refreshed and ready to roast some veggies. I really need to visit John and his backyard more often. (John, I promise to come help you weed very soon.)


    • I checked out your post. Looks amazing! I never would have thought soup and zucchini flowers would be a good combination. I always see them stuffed with cheese, dipped in batter, and fried. Interesting twist and I loved your post!

  1. Nicole

    The baby birds are adorable! Such pretty photos, I love the one with the blue eggs! And also- I feel famous, just sayin.

  2. john conner

    rachel, thanks for the blog and pictures, come over please anytime and restock for veggies and your mom , brother or friends are welcome too. i could use your help whenever you can for weeding the strawberries and also would like to plant some green beans !!!!!!!!! thanks, john

    • Hi John! So sorry I missed you Friday. I called but then got caught up in helping Joe with some stuff at church and didn’t get out of there until 5. I’m excited about planting green beans! And I heard you have a snake story to share with me! Ugh!

  3. This is so cool! And thanks Nicole, too, for “gardenerd” – now I have a new nickname for Peppermeister! πŸ™‚

    I’m late to the garden party though, so I’ll have to play catch up on who John is and this amazing sounding garden. Actually, I need to get Peppermeister over here following, too! He would be all about this – the compost pile, everything!

    • I know, gardenerd is the BEST! John is an amazing gardenerd with 1 acre of garden in his backyard. I’ve helped him plant tomatoes, corn, potatoes, strawberries, and blueberry bushes. Peppermeister likes to compost? How gardenerdy!

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