May 18, 2015
Slow Growth and Bug Guts
Things are moving very slowly in the garden. Or it seems like it when compared to my garden plot neighbors. Everyone else out there buys their plants whereas I plant seeds. I'm not talking about tomatoes and peppers, but these people are buying beans and lettuce and cucumber plants! They sprout in like 2 days, they can't wait 2 days? And lettuce! Lettuce sprouts in like 2 hours! For my money and budget, I'll stick with seeds, even if it takes longer.
At least starting from seed means the plants are used to this poor soil and actively chose to sprout and grow there. No transplant shock here in the dried out riverbed! Seriously though… bean starter plants?
Speaking of beans, this year considering the wildlife circumstances, I started my bean seeds under these hoops. I'm hoping to get them past that sprout stage when the birds swoop in and take them all out in one shot. Once they have a few leaves on them I plan on moving the hoops over the lettuces to give them some shade and help thwart bunny attacks!
My tomato & pepper bed is coming along. All survived the transplant well and although small, they are putting out nice new foliage at a rapid rate.
My Tokyo White Cross turnips are up! Along with a lone ladybug doing her job. She needs to recruit all her beneficial buddies to get here asap because…
… because of these little b@$t@rds! Yep, you will hear a lot of that language in the Flightline Garden! It's okay, it's a Navy base, so cussing like a sailor is expected and encouraged. :)
Colorado Potato Beetles! My plants aren't even 8 inches tall!
Funny story though… so I'm on my little toy wagon/scooter thing I
stole liberated from my neighbors in Virginia (anyone remember the Mt. Everest of crap on the curb when my neighbors were evicted?) - and I'm scooting down the row of potatoes handpicking and squishing these little buggers when one of my plot neighbors comes over for advice. This nice gal and new gardener wanted to ask about her plants and seeds and plot in general. I feel the need to show her the infidels currently infiltrating the plots since they were probably headed her way at the other end of the garden. I show her the beetle, show her the eggs, then tell her that most sprays don't work on them, tell her about handpicking them into a bucket of soapy water, then fill her in on the Dr. Bronner's soap spray, blah blah…. yeah, then proceed to tell her that it's awesome to just squeeze them with your bare hands and wait for the crunch. As if that wasn't enough I pick one up and say "like this!" - and squeeze a beetle that was absolutely packed with eggs that squirted everywhere. Seriously - I think I had orange beetle eggs on my face. What has become of me? Doesn't matter if I love the insect or hate it, I have to touch them all, and I have forgotten that most people aren't that into it. Being a gardener sure puts you at one with all the living things around you, and not just plants! I hope I didn't freak her out, but I'm pretty sure she now refers to me as "The Crazy Chick at Plot 59".
In the kitchen, I've managed to add another dish to the crock pot/freezer repertoire…
Chicken Tikka Masala!
The kids even liked curry! Paired with rice in the rice cooker and it's an easy dinner. I dumbed down the curry for the kids but since they liked it I will keep raising the curry/spice level until I hit their ceiling of what they will tolerate. Yep, that's the kind of mom I am - we'll stop just short of fire.
My new "Maryland" wild yeast starter was looking great after just 3 weeks, all bubbly and puffy n'stuff… honestly better than my years-old Virginia starter ever looked, so I decided to try baking the first loaf of sourdough this morning...
Yeah, this just happened. Unbelievable.
Best loaf of sourdough I've ever made!
Maryland wild yeast strains are a hit here :)