Squash before I left for the lil brother's graduation

It’s been a dreary couple of days up here in Boston. It definitely surprised me when I came back from my little brother’s graduation in Virginia where it was mostly in the 90’s and the sun only gave way to the stars and a crazy thunderstorm or two.

The squash after I came back! Some of it looked like it had DOUBLED in size in just five days. Whoa.

But the rain is good for our little garden (the plants are oh so happy)! Things really boomed while I was gone (they probably wanted to impress me, the little dears).

Squash flower after the morning rain.

It’s very exciting to see the plants flowering because you know what that means… well, flowers are the reproductive part of the plant.

Eggplant flower! I hear they're edible...

When two plants love each other very much/a pollinator or the wind does its job, the eggs of the plant is fertilized

and the seeds begin secreting a compound that expands its ovary walls.

But wait… its ovary walls? That’s right kids. You’re eating the ovary of a plant when you eat your fruit. But that’s the way they want it to be (I’m reading Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire. I’m on the apple section. Plants are just using us, btw). So when we see a flower… fruit is soon to follow!

Zucchini sprouts

Right before I left, Gracie and I planted some lettuce, cucumbers, and zucchini where there was open soil (we harvested the kale and thus had a small free patch). I was pleasantly surprised to find them sprouted and well on their way to glory. (And to discover that the ghetto paper ID tags I’d laid on the soil were still kinda sorta legible.)

But the reason this post is labeled “Rainy day reads” is that 1. it’s rainy and 2. I just finished a book you should (in my opinion) all read: Deeply Rooted by Lisa Hamilton. Even if you don’t like farming and agriculture, the descriptions of the farmers and their land is just great. If you’re more into the urban food movement, I recommend Closing the Food Gap by Mark Winne. That, too, was a great read and changed the way I look at food in cities.

Tomato flowers with Gracie doing her thing in the background.

So all your days may not be rainy, but I bet some of them will be super hot and humid and you’d be best off reading a book.