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My Garden; Amazing Yields…and Zucchini for all!

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In our second year of planting a vegetable garden here at the Chateau, we’re finding just how productive a squash plant can be.  Every year, the Barrett family is generous to offer some land to any staff who wants to grow a garden.  Last year, Gil, our Cellarmaster, and I set off to grow some tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, melons, and peppers.  We did not see ideal warmth through much of the summer.  Melons were few – and horrible. Cucumbers – barely a couple fruited.  Peppers – just average.  Squash?  More than we could eat!

So this year, with optimisim of a nice, warm summer, we planted over a dozen varieties of tomatoes, 10 different types of squash, pumpkins, cucumbers of 6 varieties, peppers, and a number of beans.  Also wild strawberries.  So far, we’re off to a good year. Cucumbers are coming in fast and furious, tomatoes are starting to show lots of promise, peppers and pumpkins show vigorous growth; and the ever dependable squash: zucchini, scallop, crooknecks, sunburst, etc…are growing like weeds.

I’m finding new ways to cook the stuff. I’ve given so much away to friends (who may not be if I keep pushing this on them as often as they’re growing).  It makes me wonder, with just how fast and full these plants grow, why aren’t more homes doing this? For the cost of some squash I’ve seen, as easy as it is to grow, cut and eat, we can reduce the hunger issues while encouraging healthy eating (provided they don’t only make fried zucchini fingers with Ranch dressing). I mean, two plants per household is ALL they need…trust me.  Doesn’t take much space, soil has to be ok, sunlight is essential, but we all have that to some degree at home or nearby…

The beauty is, you don’t even really need to have a green thumb, and you can look like a veteran gardener with this stuff.  So do yourself a favor; go buy a plant or two at your neighborhood store for a couple bucks; it’ll yield ten-fold what you paid for them in the end, and you will feel good about yourself…

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About Our Authors

Kristina King

Born in Colorado and led a nomadic life until the ripe old age of four. Kristina loves to travel, eat, drink wine, and enjoy the outdoors. One of her mottos is: Life is an adventure - enjoy!

George Blanckensee

An expert event planner and an avid basketball and sports fan, George can tell you about all the best off-the-beaten path eateries.

Cameron Parry

Winemaker since 2008, Cameron has been an integral member of the winemaking team at Chateau Montelena since 2004. He and his wife live in Calistoga with their two beautiful daughters.

Kali Clark

A Napa Valley native, Kali returned to the area after a stint on the East Coast and can be found documenting the latest happenings at the Chateau. When not behind the camera, she likes to experiment in the kitchen, travel, and enjoy the outdoors