Monday, August 29, 2011

Veggie-ball season is finally here!

   This is my absolute fav time of year...autumn. I love the smell of wood smoke, the warm days and cool nights, the taste of squash and apples, and the crisp clean air.

We also like to go to the football games...high school that is. We are proud supporters (when we can get the eve off) of Prairie Central High School. This year we are going to try to make it to all the varsity games. I like sitting on the bleachers, freezing my butt off, and yelling my fool head off for those kids. I try to get Marty to do the wave, sometimes it works.
    So, in the spirit of autumn and football season, we have been practicing up. We've been working on our veggie-ball game. It should definitely be a national sport - Farmer Veggie-ball.
   We started the veggie-ball season a couple of weeks ago actually, with cabbage. The guys were in the fenced garden pitching the cabbage to me on the outside so I could put it in the crates. These cabbages were just for us as they didn't look good enough to sell. The name of the game...Cabbage Stab. I stand on the outside of the fence with a kitchen knife, they lob the cabbage up and over the fence, I try to impale it on the knife. Did it too! Takes a little practice of course.
   The next veggie was the Bucket List Cucumber Catch. If you don't have this on your Bucket List - put it on! Then get a bucket, have someone pitch cucumbers from one end of the 50' hoophouse to you on the other end, and you try to catch them in the bucket. Tricky as they spiral a little and also catch the wind different due to their shape (and maybe their little spines). (These, again, are not the ones we sell...they are pig food. Thank goodness, huh!)
   Then today we had some fun with Zuc Shoot - shooting the zucchini across the patch and into the wagon. But - the rule is to do it without exploding it in the wagon! It is way easier to lob it to the next person and then they can gently put it in. It is also extremely sporty to lob one that is on the very ripe side...heh, heh.

This is the wagon we use for this sport.
   Tatume Toss is another game. Tatume are a little round squash from Mexico, about the size of a large softball or small volleyball. And, then there is the Pumpkin Pitch. The smaller pie pumpkins work better for this one. don't need one of those large sling shots like some competitions require, just your bare hands and some great catching skills.
left - Tatume, center - Italian Zucchini, right - Hubbard
   We are seeing some different methods of pitching/tossing/shooting/etc. on the field (or should I say "in" the field). There is the normal over hand, then the underhand lob, then the side arm, and my favorite is the medicine ball lob. When I was a kid we had this thing in PE called a "medicine ball". It was very large, very heavy, and leather. This lob is definitely needed for the overly large squash and pumpkins. It is a two-handed, between the legs wind up, and as much strength as can be mustered, kind of pitch. I'm pretty good at this one. I used this pitch for the Hubbards today.
   For the fast ball, we tend to like to use the little round guys like the lemon squash or tiny pumpkins. The lemon squash are great as they are the size and about the shape of a lemon. Nice overhand with that one!
   We try to keep things lively by changing the rules...pitching one person to another to another then in the wagon, pitching directly into the wagon, catching in a bucket, and also having the wagon moving while pitching them in.
   So, when you get the next ballot to elect the next olympic sport...don't forget to write in Farmer Veggie-ball!


  1. Surely you will have lots of volunteers to help "play" in the field when they read this. Makes me think of the "Old McDonald" song...E-Yi-E-Yi-O! Or something like that. What a great way y'all have of making hard work fun. Just love it! But don't guess that would go over too well here in the southern fields. If only they knew....js

  2. Man, you farmers get to have all the fun!