I’m ready to pronounce a verdict on one of this years gardening experiments.
As part of our scaling down this year, I wanted to plant a garden that would require very little attention. So I needed something that deer don’t eat and that wouldn’t require irrigation or much weeding. Deer eat almost everything these days, so my options were limited. The plan I settled on was to plant a large garden that was one half eggplant and one half acorn squash. Then I would tend it using an almost-STUN method (Sheer Total Utter Neglect).
Unfortunately, the experiment was a fail.
The acorn squash that survived the squash bugs (which were particularly bad this year) were choked out by weeds. Winter squash is a vining plant, making cultivation nearly impossible.
The eggplant, on the other hand, are producing abundantly. Still, I pronounce that part of the garden a fail too. Why? Because it’s generating way more eggplant than we can use, and way more than we can sell. Eggplant isn’t part of our traditional food culture here and the market for it is very limited. We’ve been giving lots of it to the local food bank (probably generating lots of groans from patrons) but it makes no sense to grow it on that scale, just to give it away. Deer don’t eat it, but neither do chickens or pigs.
So next year I won’t have the eggplant/acorn squash garden.
On the other hand our expanded onion garden was a success. We have our best onion crop ever. So maybe next year I’ll grow even more. Deer don’t eat them, but people in these parts definitely do.