2010年5月6日木曜日

exercises in futility....

Part 1

Today we planted potatoes. Dejima, Mayqueen, Andes and Kitahikari. We now have mashing, curry, frying, baking and potato salad covered.

To plant the potatoes we followed our book- 賢い野菜作り intelligent vegetable growing- who could resist a title like that, huh? Anyway we weighed the potatoes, cut them into 30-50 gram segments, dabbed the cut ends in ash, dried them out over night, dug our valleys to 15 odd centimetres, placed a potato every 20cm, kicked 10cm of soil o top of each one and finally stretched the kinks out of our backs. Phew. Hard work but a job well done, right?

Then this afternoon I was teaching one of my senior women's classes and mentioned (ok- bragged about) my morning.

Eh? 50 grams? Ash? Valleys? Eh??

How do my students plant potatoes? My students who have been self-sufficient farming for decades?

Dig over a patch of dirt till it's fluffy. Scrape off the top layer. Fling potatoes around. Cover with reserved dirt. Wipe hands of dirt and walk away.

Part 2

My nectarine has leaf curl. Badly. The year before last I thought- how cute, crinkly leaves. Last year I thought- hmmm, all the nectarines are deformed and dripping sap. Should check that out. This last Christmas I bought a copper powder (that is ok for organic farming and not so nasty etc etc). Since we got back from Australia the poison has been sitting on the gardening shelf waiting for me to get a sprayer. Then K brought home a sprayer and I was just waiting for a sunny/ not windy day. Today I finally got the sprayer, the powder, the weather, the ladder and the time to do it all together and spent a good thirty minutes going up ladder and down, up ladder and down trying to get the spray on the tree and not on me. Feeling revoltingly dirty and poisoned and un-organic I trudged inside and washed down.

And it started to rain. Hmmm.... decided to google what would happen if it rained after you sprayed.

Oh yeah. Rain within 24 hours of spraying renders it ineffective.

But that's ok. I'm about a month late spraying anyway and late spraying? Ineffective. Great.

Part 3

Last week when we dug over the garden there were little bulbs everywhere. They smelt oniony but weren't onions, shallots, rakkyo or wakinegi which are the only alliums I know. Thinking they were more likely purposely planted than weeds I carefully collected them all in a bucket as we went feeling guilty everytime I pulled one up and it appeared sans bulb. Today I finally caught up with friend and neighbour A and told her about the bucket.

Eh?
Little oniony like things, all over the far end of the garden?
Eh? Ahhh! Those things? Pain in the butt. You have to peel, wash, de-beard, soak then pickle in miso to eat them and they're not even that tasty. Spread like wildfire, I've been trying to dig them out for years!

Great.

So that's it. I know when I'm beat. Gave up on gardening for today before I waste any more time and effort!

1 件のコメント:

bastish さんのコメント...

We also do the ash thing. Most of what we do is based on Tomoe's research. (1; she wont listen to anything I find on the web or in my books, and 2: I agree that there are certain differences between the climate in Japan and places where the authors of the books I read are written.)

Still, we do the ash thing. I am not sure if the neighbors do, but I know they use other stuff.

I am petitioning Tomoe for a separate space to test various methods without worrying if we get little or no harvest, just to test the methods (I like science)

But for now, I am happy with the ashes on the potatoes.

Also, since you have a fire stove, if you collect the water that drips out of the chimney, it is supposedly a quite effective bug/disease repellant. People pay a lot for it, and it will keep your plants healthy. (the water from the cans that men put their cigarettes out in will do the same, but that seems gross.)