We can’t exactly say it was a whirlwind tour, but after taking off through a typhoon in early June and returning through a typhoon in mid-July we can surely say that our trip had its ups and downs.
The temperature here has also gone up, and rising with it are all the plants—rice, weeds, and crops. Rising, or at least growing: we returned to find our new garden plot in disarray. The broccoli was crawling down the raised bed and the cucumbers had ignored the trellis and were sprawling among the tomatoes, which had been toppled by the wind.
The bugs loved the chaos, too. Huge drone beetles were crawling facefirst into split tomatoes for feeding orgies, eating until they couldn’t move. Brown marmorated stink bugs had taken over the tomatoes and sweet potatoes, coating the trunks and branches, raising their young and even mating in plain view. It was a hedonistic insect heaven.
Our little vacuum changed that pretty quick. There were far too many of them to pick off one by one, and they seemed to think of my homebrew fermented organic insect repellant as a kind of perfume. So out came the little hoover, and the stink bug population dropped pretty quick. The big tomato eaters just got dropped into a garbage bag, tomatoes and all, and were disposed of.
Now we’re back under a semblance of control. At least our thick layer of grass mulch did a good job of keeping the weeds down while we were gone!
I don’t think I’ve posted about this garden patch before. We wanted something a little closer to our home, so we dug part of our lawn up over the spring. The soil was collected from a mountain road our friends knew about; it’s a leaf compost, which is supposed to be pretty acidic, but our plants seem to love it. We filled our little truck up with bags of the compost, filtered it through a large sieve, and mixed in just a little bit of additives from the store. Hiro shoveled it into five little rows, and voila, our kitchen garden.