For the love of squash

Our garden is booby trapped. Between stinging nettle, thorny thistle and pokey pigweed, you are taking your life (or at least the well being of your shins) in your hands if you meander thoughtlessly betwixt the veggie rows.  The pigweed, easily my least favorite member of the amaranth family, is ostensibly edible except for the fact that it is artfully adorned with two-inch medieval spikes.  Some of the  invading weeds are malicious, to be sure, but the vegetables, the ones that we have lovingly nurtured since before their infancy, they would never do anything to harm us, right?  Well, our squash vines apparently are not sentimental.  They reward our months of care with a multitude of nicks and scapes on our arms and legs with each harvest.  The stems and leaves of the vines are covered in tiny spines that seem innocuous at first.  By the time someone  finishes harvesting a  bed of squash, the plant defenses leave you with a tingling itchy burn that is a bit maddening.  I know, I know, wear long sleeves and gloves and you’ll be fine.  Which is true, but dangit I don’t like wearing a bee keeper suit to pick squash when its 93 degrees outside!

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