My parents came down recently for a visit and wanted to help a bit in the garden. Mostly, it was clearing out the weeds, but Dad always likes to get an idea of what all will be going in or kept around.

“What is that tall, woody thing?” he asks me at one point.

“Oh, that?” I reply, looking at the vegetable patch. “Those are sweet peppers that grew for a full calendar year.”

Most Pennsylvanians have never seen such a thing. And, in case you have never seen such a thing…

…now, you have.

The leaves get very tightly clustered, and the fruit never grows very large. I finally pulled these out just today to try a Native American companion planting idea and found something interesting.

One sweet pepper and one bell pepper on the same branch, fully ripe but very small, and containing hardly any seeds at all. I also pulled that random radish, curious to see what it looked like.

I also found these [expletive deleted] on the Brussels sprouts that never really grew.

See those little black and red grasshoppers? Baby lubbers, the grasshoppers that get massive and have one natural predator that doesn’t happen to be local. Which means that it’s time for me to restock on orange oil. They might have gorgeous coloring when fully grown, but if I have to choose my veggies over them, it’s going to be the veggies every time.

Not far away, however, I found a positive. Wild radishes, which are probably my favorite edible weed in my yard.


One thought on “When Vegetables Go Feral

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