You never know what you might see at a farmers market: newborns, dogs, hula-hoop artists, break-dancers, men in togas selling Italian bread, and this, a new way (to me), to shell peas, especially helpful when the pods, like crowder peas or pigeon peas, are so small. It reminds me of a pencil sharpener. (Remember pencils?). Unlike what the Internet says, the peas don’t just pop out. I kind of like sitting and shelling though. As analog as this may be, I think I’ll stick to my hands. Who has room for one more gadget, anyway?
I have tried to grow butternut squash before because I love the vegetable. It’s hardy. It stores well. It’s sweet. In the past I have ordered seeds from catalogues, tossed out the most fragile looking ones, broadcast and watered obsessively and come up with nothing but a trailing and barren vine. Now I don’t try anymore because I know that every once in a while my compost pile that sits in the garden with no water will provide. This is one of those years. In the past month I think I have probably plucked close to 30 hefty, curvy, healthy specimens (and given away 15). For me, the surprise harvest is sometimes the most exciting.