The Plants that Ate Dirt (and everything else)? July 6th, 2015

Maybe some of you are familiar with the 1988 children's book by Nancy McArthur, entitled The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks.  If not, I promise it's a humorous, entertaining book, especially to young boys.  Matt was eight years old when the book was released and he read it by the age of 10 (+/-).  I read it with him, and if I can remember it all these years later, you know it had to be good.  What does this have to do with anything?  Well, every time I step off our back deck nowadays, my initial thought is, The Plants that Swallowed the Back Yard. Or maybe, Alien Plants Invade Nevada City!

I did not plant these things, so the seeds must have come from a compost addition.  But ... I don't recall throwing squash seeds in the compost.  Anyway, seeds sprouted and sprouted and sprouted.  I weeded out many and allowed a few to remain.  You can't imagine the total circumference of the vines, reaching north, south, east and west!

June 29th

One hot week later, July 6th, and the vines are making for the deck steps and steamrolling everything in sight, including my planted bush beans! 

 Bees love the blossoms

 Several small round "fruit" have appeared.

Double trouble?

This is the largest one, so far, and it's turning yellow.

A friend suggested it might be a Buttercup (winter) Squash, Cucurbita maxima.  Maybe so.  I've never heard of them so if this is them, then they are aliens!  I hope they're tasty.  When the vines climb up on our deck, heading for the door, I'm leaving home! 

Last Sunday morning I was out early picking raspberries at Riverhill Farm.  It was already hot a little after 9 am, so if the farm is open for picking again in the next few weeks, I'll be there at 8.  I wear jeans so my legs don't get scratched, and it's hot in the full sun.


We love berries of all kinds, especially raspberries ... so delicious on cereal.  I've noticed the blackberries growing beside the canal trail will be ripe soon, but it's treacherous picking.  Kinda fun to pick 'n eat a few as I walk along.  Meanwhile, we are definitely looking forward to a cooler week here in NorCal.


  1. Gotta love a mystery vine! (think: Invasion of the Body Snatchers...!!!) Be sure to let us all know about the end result and how it tastes...

  2. There was a horror movie back in the fifties or sixties with man-eating plants called Triffids. Where did you ever get triffid seeds? ;)

  3. Looks like you found something the deer don't want! I love buttercup squash, they are delish! not as sweet as butternut and a bit more of a baked potato texture. maybe one will make it all the way into the house and into the oven!

  4. Cue the music for Alien Invasion ;-))

  5. Just lately I've been regretting that we never planted raspberries along the side of the house when we moved here 10 years ago. We used to have a huge vegetable garden and sometimes I miss it but weeding was a lot of work and my family just didn't eat most of it so I didn't replant one when we moved. The zucchini and pumpkins were fun to watch as they invaded though!

    1. Me, too -- I wish we had raspberries growing in the backyard. But when I can go pick pounds of berries at a local farm for a nominal fee, well, then I have to realize that having my wishes granted all the time might not be a good thing! See my latest post for raspberries!


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