Thursday, March 12, 2015
After the explosion of fluff described in chayote chaos, part 1, I decided it was time to go out and actually buy a couple of these beautiful veggies. Chayotes were being sold for 99¢ each at an upscale supermarket nearby. I chose the ones I judged most likely to sprout soon, though the blossom ends of all the chayotes on display were pretty tightly closed.
Returning home, I set my chayotes in the same spot where I'd cleared out the pile of unwanted fluff from my stolen pseudo-squashes and, once again, waited for nature to take its course.
I didn't record any dates for these activities, but I know that it was still early fall when I bought the two chayotes. When they hadn't sprouted by the middle of November, I started thinking that, like much supermarket produce, they'd been treated with some chemical that would keep them from sprouting.
Throughout October and November, I was regularly visiting L.A.'s venerable Grand Central Market in connection with a yarnbombing project, and so I purchased two shriveled chayotes at one of the produce stalls. I was charged 99¢ a pound, and so these two chayotes, which looked like they might sprout any minute, cost a total of 79¢. While much of the market has been gentrified in recent months, the produce stalls continue to offer sad-looking produce at bargain prices.
You may wonder why I kept buying chayotes in pairs. Well, one of the things I thought I knew about growing chayotes was that there are male and female vines, and you had to have one of each gender to get the proper pollination. We happily ate the freshest-looking supermarket chayote, and I decided to try to sprout all of the remaining three. It made sense to me that a ménage à trois would improve our chances.
It was not until December 29, 2014, that I made this note in an on-line forum that I frequent: ". . . put two sprouted chayotes into pots, and put them on the back porch in hopes they'll put down some roots."
Why oh why had the sprouting process taken so long? Perhaps we'll get to that in Part 3 of this chronicle of chaos . . .