Nothing pretty about these pictures. Zucchini on top, summer squash on the bottom. At least that's my guess. I post them because there’s something we should remember. All fruits and vegetables, unless I missed something, begin as flowers. Some we eat before they mature. Lettuce, for example. But to plant and eat lettuce and related vegetables, we must harvest them before they are mature and allow a portion of the crop to go to seed. The seed is next year’s crop, and it comes from allowing the lettuce to flower. Apples and oranges come from trees covered in tiny, but beautiful flowers. Eventually, the base of the flowers swell into fruit. And closer to the ground, zucchini and summer squash, if that's what they are, follow the same pattern.
These pictures were taken in a stretch of ground between the sidewalk and a fence defining the limits of a trailer park. I suppose today that would be a mobile home park. I watched the lady who maintains this stretch plant little plugs of plants in empty spaces. It seems like yesterday. They grew at a ferocious pace. The squash have huge leaves that hide the flowers, and the zucchini have long, straight stems that give the flowers full sunshine. If she does what she did last year, she’ll let them grow until harvest time and then pull them up. They are temporary, but they are also food bearing. Eventually, she will plant watermelon to replace them. She has a very tiny farm along the sidewalk.
When I was in school I was taught that a big differences between plants and animals is mobility. Animals move, plants are stationary. You had to know that for the test. But the teacher was also a realist. He said that if an apple falls to the ground and a horse eats it, and he doesn’t poop for a hundred yards, then the seeds of that apple tree have moved one hundred yards. So, fruits and vegetables exist to give plants what they otherwise lack: mobility. Some fruits are so volatile that the horse is lucky to make it ten yards. Others go down and stay down with such ease that the horse can run and frolic all day before planting seed in manure wrapped piles. And it all starts with flowers.