Maybe I'm a Compost Crank...

 Honey bee (yes!) joins friends in squash blossom

Honey bee (yes!) joins friends in squash blossom

The upside of our failure to generate real heat in our compost, described here, is that some of the transplanted squash seedlings grew into squash plants, which became teenagers and started blooming, which led to poll(ination) parties like the one above. We are happy to see honeybees in our blossoms. We look forward to hosting even more, happier bees once the Seedleaf hive just over our back fence in the beautiful Old Episcopal Burying Ground gets its lively new inhabitants.

Last week the first baby squash appeared, and it looks just like...maybe a butternut? The baby in the photo below is about two inches long.

 Compost Squash Baby - Butternut?

Compost Squash Baby - Butternut?

When the squash seedlings first poked out of the compost, the Campsie Gardener decided to use some seedlings to speed up his plan to replace some ornamental plantings with edible ones. So into a little clearing in the long border of perennials went some strapping compost-fed squash seedlings. The size of their clearing among the daylilies and irises must have struck the seedlings as a great joke. They promptly began covering all around them with Little Shop of Horror-size leaves and stems as thick as garden hoses.

But Lycoris (Lycoris squamigera, aka "Naked Ladies," or "Surprise Lily") has its own vigor and requirements. So now we have one spot in the Campsie garden where everything seems to be happening at once.

 Where the wild squashes and naked ladies (Lycoris) frolic with the daylilies

Where the wild squashes and naked ladies (Lycoris) frolic with the daylilies

In spite of our intention to welcome the unplanned squash babies into our lives, we asked the advice of a Compost Guru about avoiding such surprises in the future. He recommended a Compost Crank from Johnny's Seeds. We and several other compost latecomers may have discovered this tool at the same time, given that Compost Crank is back-ordered. More later on that. We also plan to add a secret (all natural, time-tested, local, legal, free) heat-up ingredient, and we'll tell all when we do.

A correction to Compost, Eventually, the July 21, 2009 post that tells tales of two types of Campsie compost: Deeper digging and closer scrutiny revealed that three weeks of burial in a compost pile had mostly, but not completely, decomposed the 'pickled' Bokashi compost waste. Current belief: Bokashi can speed up composting, but perhaps not accelerate it to warp speed. A second trial is underway.

And another note: Cornbread Supper fans: After the July 27, 2009 supper, we take a break until August 31, when the weekly suppers resume on Monday nights at 6 PM. Except that there will be a terrific special Cornbread Supper-Slow Food Bluegrass event on August 10. Visit Cornbread Suppers, the blog, for details.

rona