My New Hobbies: Potato Abuser and Zucchini Pimp

My new gardening theory: I’m too nice to my spuds. It’s time to go all “Fifty Shades” on my potato pals.

Seriously, all my friends with crap soil can grow mad amounts of potatoes. Even my big bro, the Bag Whore, got scads of potatoes on his first try!

Not only did he get a great crop, he GLOATED with this Facebook update:

Winterizing the garden today and found some goodies buried in the potato box!

The Bag Whore's "leftover spuds."

The Bag Whore’s “leftover spuds.”


I just confirmed that my third try at potatoes yielded one the size of my big toe and another about three inches long. Not only was the crop pitiful, but they tasted like cocktail onions.

So I’m at dinner with Hubby and Clair the Coffee Goddess and they told me “I’m too nice to my potatoes.” Obviously if all these other schmoes can grow ’em, I can too, right?

I just need to abuse them more. Talk dirty. Maybe a spanking or two.

According to the Southern California planting guide, this is what will grow right now:

FALL (in warm regions)
artichoke, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chives, cilantro, collards, dill, endive, fava beans, garlic, kale, lettuce, onion, parsley, parsnip, peas, radish, swiss chard, thyme

Note: I’ve got most of that, plus tomatoes, although those are starting to die off.  BUT I WANT POTATOES!!!! *bangs spade…yanks hair* WHY can’t I grow potatoes???!

The Hansen House Potato Famine was followed by this conversation with my sis:

Cory: Shoot…I can’t grow zucchini! Help!

Me: Cory, I just got the secret of why we didn’t get zucchini this year! With the bee population down you have to get a q-tip and fertilize them yourself. Get pollen from the boy flowers and take it to the girl flowers. Relative of mine swears it works.

Cory: This sounds like blog for More Cowbell! [Thassss right!] Q-tips, boy flower… Girl flower Hmmmm…. It’s too bad my garden is done. Winter is setting in here in Oregon.

Me: I know, right? Who’d have thought you had to be the resident pimp for the zucchini?

The Bag Whore: You just have to plant flowers to attract the bees. I had tons of bees. Of course you guys live in Monsanto hell, maybe you have a shortage of bees there.

Yup. Despite what the sanctimonious potato-growing Bag Whore has to say, there is a shortage of bees here in the western regions right now.

If you want to get zucchini these days, ya gotta pimp it.

While the link above shows the q-tip method well, the guy in the following video slayed me. I loooove the way he says “zucchinis.”

So, to recap:
I have to abuse my potatoes and be a pimp for my zucchini if I want to be successful.

Any questions?

What do you do for grand crops? Sing…dance…pimp…(spank)? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!


p.s. For all you procrastinating types: Happy Tax Extension Day!!


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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47 Responses to My New Hobbies: Potato Abuser and Zucchini Pimp

  1. Jane Sadek says:

    My question is, why does everything grow best where it’s not supposed to?The healthiest Bermuda grass I have is what’s wandered over to the junipers and monkey grass. For that matter, who decided what was weeds and what wasn’t. Some of the stuff I fight to get rid of looks as good to me as the stuff I’m nurturing, but officially, they’re weeds!


  2. OMG! After all these years. I finally learn what the bees biz is all about when it comes to ‘splainin’ sex. There are male flowers with their own winky-dink penises. And, the females have those good veggies en uteri.

    [My sex ed from Mom–the farmer’s daughter–was, “God plants babies inside women when they get married. Now, go play in the hay loft and stop asking stupid questions.”]

    Personally? I think the Q-tip artificial insemination method is more humane that whacking off Mr. Zucchini’s winky-dink parts, as demonstrated in the video. [Yes! I love his accent.] Loved his brush-it-around method. Was it good for her, too? IYKWIM.

    Random thought alert!

    For those of us who have ever agreed to accept zucchini from a friend, neighbor, or co-worker and been cursed blessed with daily delivery of bags those giant darlings…

    I suggest every Friday the 13th be declared Zucchini Winky-Dink Whack-off day. Population control amongst thriving Zucchini free-sex communes would negate the urge to run when a home gardener approaches.

    Me? Garden? It’s a spectator sport.


    • K.B. Owen says:

      Well, Gloria, that’s one way to keep those bad boys from reproducing. Have you ever read the following poem by Marge Piercy? It’s a hoot, and I think captures your sentiment perfectly. 😉

      Attack of the Squash People

      And thus the people every year
      in the valley of humid July
      did sacrifice themselves
      to the long green phallic god
      and eat and eat and eat.
      They’re coming, they’re on us,
      the long striped gourds, the silky
      babies, the hairy adolescents,
      the lumpy vast adults
      like the trunks of green elephants.
      Recite fifty zucchini recipes!

      Zucchini tempura; creamed soup;
      sauté with olive oil and cumin,
      tomatoes, onion; frittata;
      casserole of lamb; baked
      topped with cheese; marinated;
      stuffed; stewed; driven
      through the heart like a stake.

      Get rid of old friends: they too
      have gardens and full trunks.
      Look for newcomers: befriend
      them in the post office, unload
      on them and run. Stop tourists
      in the street. Take truckloads
      to Boston. Give to your Red Cross.
      Beg on the highway: please
      take my zucchini, I have a crippled
      mother at home with heartburn.

      Sneak out before dawn to drop
      them in other people’s gardens,
      in baby buggies at churchdoors.
      Shot, smuggling zucchini into
      mailboxes, a federal offense.

      With a suave reptilian glitter
      you bask among your raspy
      fronds sudden and huge as
      alligators. You give and give
      too much, like summer days
      limp with heat, thunderstorms
      bursting their bags on our heads,
      as we salt and freeze and pickle
      for the too little to come.
      Marge Piercy


    • zkullis says:

      Nobody wants gourd-distributing-dudes knocking on their door anymore…

      So sad


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      THAT was your sex ed??! No wonder you love to explore the art of sexy. You’ve got a lot of learning to make up for on the topic. 🙂

      The Q-tip method certainly allows you to have more male flowers, that’s for sure. And since I’m aware of the massive amounts of zucchini that can be produced, I try to spread my gift-giving far and wide so no one gets inundated.


  3. susielindau says:

    I found out why I had no tomatoes this year. I have a green tomato-lovin-stinkin’ squirrel! I think I got three all season. I did pretty well back in the day with carrots. You might give them a try. For the most part, I just walked through my gardens this year. Next year, I’ll be rolling up my sleeves!


  4. K.B. Owen says:

    Woo-hoo! You Cali gals are a wild bunch. But we already knew that. 😉 What if the girl zucchini flowers want their guys to “put a ring on it,” a la Beyonce…maybe they’d settle for a little wine and conversation. Or play some Barry Manilow while swirling that Q-tip.

    As far as your feelings of tuber inadequacy, there’s always next year!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      *clutches sides laughing*

      I’ve been giggling about this comment all day long, Kathy. Wait until the hubs gets home…Perhaps he’ll channel his inner Barry Manilow IYKWIM. 🙂 🙂


  5. For grand crops, I hit the farmers’ market! And borrow from gardening pro pals on occasion. 😉 I may try growing a few plants JUST so I can try talking dirty to them. Wish me luck!!


  6. I’ve done the polination thing for years (when I have veggies in my garden), but I’ve never thought of it as pimping my zuchs 😉 Thanks for the image, I think.


  7. zkullis says:

    I’ve found that anything besides grass that germinates in your lawn will undoubtedly fourish.

    You could plunge a tuberous spud in your grass (repeat that quickl and see just how naughty it sounds) and you would have yourself a miniature Idaho tater-belt in your yard.

    On a serious note, have you tried putting manure in your soil? That shit will make anything grow.

    *wink wink*


    • I always follow your advice, G-man. So, I did repeat the tuberous spud in your grass line several times.

      Nope. Even though it raises the eyebrows and creates all manner of naughty images, I don’t think it will ever make it into the Romance Writers Phrase Book. Just sayin…

      “Mmmmm. Baby. Plant that tuberous spud of yours in my grass. Oh, OH, OH!

      [It’s been too long since I got to play double entendre with the G-man in your comments. If that crosses the line? Hmmm. Thinking. All I’ve got is, “Bite me.”]

      LOL on your punny take on manure. Clever man.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I like Gloria’s take on your plunging tuberous spud. (Really, it sounds a bit violent.) And we compost so I’m sure some of what goes into my garden is bugshit. However, I haven’t tried actual manure because I usually garden barefoot. I might need to give it a whirl though. I’m completely irked at this missing potato business.


      • zkullis says:

        Now that I think about it, it does sound a little on the rough side. Which, by the way, isn’t a side that I’m even remotely comfortable with.

        Try to get some manure directly from a farm if possible. It won’t stink for too long, especially once you till it in. Do you have a tiller? If so, till it with your soil in the spring. Go ahead and still garden barefoot. There is something thera-poo-tic about getting a little excrement-laced soil between your toes.

        If that doesn’t excite you, you can always think about what your plants have been living in as you dig in to meal from your garden.


        • Jenny Hansen says:

          Zack, I am positive they have your picture next to “helpful” in the dictionary. Or perhaps they’ve moved it next to the poo….


          • zkullis says:

            Poo \,pü, ‘pü – 1. odiferous substance know to be beneficial to the growing of taters, potatoes, and tuberous grass-spuds. 2. The smart-ass in the picture to the left.


  8. kitdunsmore says:

    The thing we cannot seem to grow: green peppers. Not sure if it’s a heat issue or a nutrient problem, but our two plants never really grew this year and produced a record crop of 5 peppers.

    I’m the world’s laziest gardener. I love the fresh produce (until we’re drowning in it, anyway) but would never have a garden if my husband wasn’t avid about it. He’s the one who gets me to buy and plant in the early summer, and I’m always complaining at the time, then thanking him later. Fortunately, our zucchini manage just fine without anyone pimping beyond the bees, or I wouldn’t be able to complain about how many of those we eat in the summer. Of course, I looked at buying one at the store the other day (we are finally out) and couldn’t bring myself to pay money for something I got free for months. I’ll get over it eventually, when zucchini looks novel again, then we’ll be back to spring and me complaining while my husband goes through the seed catalogs.

    I used to live in Ithaca, NY and the joke from there went like this: Why do you lock your car doors in the summer? So you don’t find a bag of zucchini on the back seat.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      LOL…you’re in Colorado now. You must GROW. (More than the ganja, that is.) You are a very nice wife to go through all that you must to keep a garden going, just to make your honey happy.

      And you made hubby start cracking up over the idea of zucchini sneaking into the backseat. Did you read Kathy’s poem up above?


  9. tomwisk says:

    Hi Jenny, potatoes grow in godforsaken soil in Maine and Idaho with lots of rocks and generally crappy fertilization. Put your eyes (the things the pant grows from) in the worst part of your garden and let the b*****ds fight to survive. Zucchini? Every time I’ve planted it I’ve made enemies because I dumped baskets of them on neighbor’s porches. The video was a bit kinky. It was British though and you know.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      See? I’ve been WAY too nice to my spuds. I give them earthworms and great soil. From now on, I’m giving them the nasty clay part of the yard. Maybe under a tree or something. They can fight for their water. *pouts*


  10. LOLOL! *thinks for minute.* Yup, that’s all I got. LOLOL!


  11. *bangs spade…yanks hair* LOL! Thanks Monsanto. Yep, we’re missing bees. I can see it now, all of us with our bums in the air, bent over out in the fields, hand pollinating in order to grow our food. Yeah, not a pretty site. And your brother is a brat Jenny. Could it be the difference in soil? You must have some Irish in you. Hand pollinating zucchini. Who would have thought. Although I know they’re doing that will apples over in China. There goes the price of our food. I’ve got to start a garden. Do veggies grow in the shade?


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You can grow in the shade if you buy a grow light to fake out your plants. 🙂 And I have tons of Irish in me (no pun intended) – I thought I’d be a shoo-in for potato growing, but noooooooo. Bastard spuds!

      And of course my brother is a brat! I love him, but he’s enough to drive you bonkers some days. The rest of the time, he’s freaking hilarious.


  12. Diana Beebe says:

    We always pimp our zucchini and squash, when we have them. We skipped them this year, because of the squash bug invasion of 2012. So sad.

    My potatoes failed, too. I had no idea I wasn’t being mean enough to them. Huh.

    You just made me realize that I’m way behind on my winter plantings. The beds must be made, IYKWIM.

    Good luck with the new crops!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m behind on my winter planting too, Diana. It’s starting to give me guilt. Gotta “lay in those beds” IYKWIM….

      p.s. Let me know what your neighbors have to say about your dominatrix outfit when you’re out there whipping your spuds into shape.


  13. filbio says:

    Us city folk just head down to the Fairway, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or the corner fruit/veggie stand to grab our potatoes! That, or we just order delivery to get our spud fix!

    Tater tot anyone?


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