Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No ken kisim pineapple

I have learned a lot about gardening from my time working with Bill in the garden. I now know how to tell a ripe pineapple from one that isn't quite ready yet. As pineapples ripen they start to turn yellow, once the whole pineapple is yellow it is as sweet as it will be and ready to eat. If you pick it before it is all yellow, it still tastes good, but maybe not as good as if you waited a day more. A month ago some of our pineapples started to ripen, but for a while we weren't getting to eat any of them. We tried to let the pineapples ripen as long as we could, but found someone would take them before we did. After not getting any pineapples for a few weeks, we came up with a plan.
Bill made some signs out of cardboard to place in the garden to try and dissuade thieves from taking them. He also talked to security so they knew we were wanting to eat the pineapples. This plan has worked, in the past 2 weeks or so, we have been able to let our pineapples ripen as long as we want before we pick them. A lot of the pineapples are ripening now, and we have a lot of very large ones that we are excited about getting to enjoy. We also have redone some of the pineapple patches so we expect a bountiful harvest in the future as well.
Before Bill went on furlough there was a pumpkin plant that was growing. While he was gone, I picked some of the pumpkins (squash) and gave them away, as I don't really care for them. This pumpkin plant seems to be never ending. It is at least 7 months old now, and continues to produce pumpkins. We haven't counted, but it has produced at least 30 if not more pumpkins, and there are at least 6 more growing now. These pumpkins have been a tremendous blessing to the patients as Bill gives them away, almost everyday, to someone on the ward.
The garden is doing quite well now. There seems to be a never ending supply of beans as well as the pumpkins. There is also a lot of cucumbers, cabbage, tomatoes, and lettuce. More pumpkins, peas, tomatoes, cabbage, beans, watermelon, and lettuce are growing so we will continue to enjoy a good harvest which we can share with the patients and others on station.