Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pests & Promises--A Trailer Park Homestead Update

This week, my garden has given me many glimpses of the cheap, healthy, delicious food to come.  A lot of flowers are starting to have lumps and bumps at their base, forming the foods that are to come.  Tiny green tomatoes lurk under leaves.  Some of my corn has even begun tassling. 
Future cucumbers...
future zucchinis....
futu...oh, wait.  This is past broccoli.  We actually ate this in chicken teriyaki last night for dinner!
I'd never seen a ground cherry plant before I started growing them, but I think the every increasing bushiness of these things is fairly promising!
Getting close to having homegrown tomatoes!
My blue jade corn appears to be having some interesting thoughts as well!
It isn't all sunshine and joy though.  Yesterday, when I walked out into the garden (in other words, I walked out of my door!), I was amazed at the number of insects that seem to have sprung up over night.  I'm not sure what all of them were, but among them, I discovered two of my archnemeses of previous years of gardening:  Japanese beetles and cabbage butterflies.  I will have to be much more vigilant to make sure these terrors don't tear up the garden too much...and to make sure other old "friends" like tomato worms, don't make an appearance as well!
Okay, this isn't an insect pest, but still definitely pests!  The starlings that inhabit the birdhouse attached to the garage (which should be coming down soon when they remodel it) keep pooping all over my garden below the box!  I've turned this to my advantage though.  They are now guard starlings!  Their poop protects the peas from the kids gobbling them up.  This should allow me to actually be able to save some for seed!
That flying white blob is the evil cabbage butterfly.   I used to love those things as a kid.  Now, I want to catch them all and let my kids play with them so they can't lay eggs on my broccoli, cabbage, and rutabaga and gobble the poor plants up!
And this is what happens to Japanese beetles who dare venture onto my Trailer Park Homestead!  The lot isn't large enough for one of those traps that draws them in, so if I used one of those, I'd be adding to my problem by drawing in the evil beasts from all around.  For now, I'll hand picking them (okay, knocking them...those things are gross!) and putting them in a plastic tub of water with a little dish soap in it.  I keep this tub, with a lid on it, right out in my "fields" so if I find one, I can dispose of it right away.

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