Over the last quarter century we have composted our food scraps, raising the soil in the backyard nearly 5 inches. Occasionally the compost doesn’t get hot enough so when we place the fresh soil out in the spring we get volunteers, seeds that sprout in random places. Sometimes these volunteers provide extra harvest, sometimes they don’t provide any fruit or vegetable due to being a hybrid or if fruit is produced it is not always good tasting. In the past we have had an avocado grow out of a drain hole in the compost container itself. Tomato plant volunteers are fairly regular. This year it is delicata squash which has spontaneously flourished in the herb garden, where the beans and cucumbers grow as well. Flourish is way too weak a word for its exuberance. (The photo above shows a young squash on a portion of the volunteer delicata, which criss-crosses the herb garden path three or four times.)
Our first volunteer delicata (shown below) was the star of tonight’s stir fry. Unexpected gifts are always the most savory.