Monday, October 10, 2016

Big Year for Winter Squash Plants!

One of Prairie Hill's members, David Tucker, began the first horticultural project on our land this summer. In a protected area on top of our acreage, he planted some winter squash seeds. When I was showing a prospective member around the site two months ago, these squash were already growing luxuriously. I can only imagine what they look like now, a few days before our first threat of frost. If we were already living at Prairie Hill, David's squash would probably grace our dinner table for months!

Last night at our Iowa City Cohousing board meeting at my house, I showed the other board members the patch of ground that was planned to be a garden with many vegetables, and which my own winter squash has completely taken over. Obviously this is a stupendous squash year. Here's a picture of my garden (turned squash patch) as well as a poem I wrote about it:

The Take-Over

Each morning I look through my upstairs window
   onto the green phenomenon below:
   squash vines running rampant over my garden plot.
Since mid-summer, it has been a marvel,
   these beautiful green arms
   reaching out, uncurling,
   stretching over the landscape
   covering every other growing thing.
There is a vibrancy in this daily, almost hourly, growth,
   a pulsing, unstoppable tide of life unfolding before my eyes.
Who knew that three small hills of seeds
   would find the perfect setting to expand exponentially?

Surprisingly I feel no regret for all the vegetables that fell to this giant,
   smothered under the lush foliage: lettuces, beans, carrots,
   even my hardy tomato plants.
Former garden plans become insignificant compared to this explosion of life.
Almost jubilantly the vines ignore boundaries
   creeping over lawn
   climbing up fruit trees
   stretching into the woods.
And oh, the orange and gold treasures
   hidden beneath the leaves,
   round ribbed smooth fruits of a season’s task,  
   transformation of sun and rain and soil
   into plump heavy seed-carrying bodies.

If it weren’t already October,
   my mind might be busy with fantasies and fears:
   waking one morning, trapped in a tangle of
   green ropey bindings,
   doors and windows blocked,
   the green take-over compete.
But frost is around the corner,
   and this species particularly vulnerable.
Instead I celebrate my good fortune
   to witness Life in such abundance.

Nan Fawcett

1 comment:

  1. Great poem!! It really captures the feeling of the abundance of those magnificently prolific plants.