I took some garden pictures exactly a week apart. Well a week and a couple of hours. A week, a couple of hours and about 500mm of rain. Nagano made the national news tonight: noteworthy amounts of rain falling. And 250mm more forecast in the next 24 hours. Mum and dad- to put that in perspective you guys get about 750 mm a year.
So anyway, dodging raindrops I headed out to the garden to record a weeks growth. Of course I forgot exactly where I stood when I took the first pictures so there are no perfect matchups (I had a mad idea of taking apicture of the garden at the same spot every single day for a year and making a slideshow/ film but there is no way I will ever be that organised so...)
The cucumber vines then
The non-spicy peppers- yellow, red, piman and banana then
And now. They all have huge peppers on them that are weighing them down. That combined with the super soggy soft soil/ mud is meaning they're falling over and I staked them all after I took this picture. The best solution is to remove the peppers but they are nowhere near ripe (you need X number of sunny days over 25 degrees before peppers colour) and I really love coloured peppers so I am staking and tying and stamping down the ground and showering them with encouraging words and will start doing my sundance soon.
The leaf veggie beds and the herb bed then
Yes. I did no weeding in the uncultivated parts of the garden last week. I weeded around all the plants but the menfolk promised to do the uncultivated parts with the big plougher. Only it had a broken blade. Then another. That's what you deal with when you are using a 50 something year old machine. But it was free. And a new one costs big bucks. So they ordered in some new blades. (too old a machine to have the blades in stock.) The shop offered to replace the blades at 300 yen each. There are 4 blades on each circular doovalacky and about 5 circular doovalackies on the plough (very technical we are here). Both our blokes baulked at paying someone to do such a simple job.
That was two weeks ago.
There are now pieces of plough in two different boxes, a big hole under the plough where the blades should be, a box of new parts with only one blade taken out and the weeds haven't waited for them to get their act together. Of course delivering the whole shebang to the original farm machinery shop as is would be incredibly embarrassing so that is not an option. And co-farmer A and I were spied checking out little lady-ploughers at the JA festival Saturday.....
Anyway, the weeds are growing the fastest but we are also eating butter lettuce, oak leaf lettuce, cos lettuce, horrible iceberg lettuce we were given for going to a JA we-love-chemicals talk but that we are picking one leaf at a time to avoid the iceberg thing, red, yellow and green silverbeet, baby beets, baby turnips, basil parsley and coriander. The parsley and coriander are last years and are now seeding (it takes two years) so we are looking forward to a bumper Autumn crop of herbs.
The tomatoes then
And now. The tomatoes really amaze me. They haven't been watered since the day we planted them and the rain cover keeps the rain off them. So they live an entire season on the moisture they suck up out of the ground. Very low maintenance high reward crop! And yes, our tomato house is a bit rough. The neighbours shake their heads but hey it works.
Corn and beans on the left and snake beans in the centre then
And now. Whoa baby look at the snake beans go, huh? I am so excited as I love snake beans and can't wait to give my neighbours some 30+cm long beans to knock their socks off. A and I were thrilled when we found the hemp netting as it breaks down into the soil at the end of the season making clean up way easier than with the usual nylon netting which is a cow of a thing for getting tangled and taking hours to carefully untangle and packup each Autumn. A's husband looked at it, sniffed, pointed out that we have 100s of metres of hemp twine and could have made our own netting. We nodded and agreed that indeed we could have and then went and bought two more lengths of netting. At 298 yen a 2m length I think our time is worth more than that.
The eggplants on the left and okra on the right then
Eggplant and okra now. Eggplant plants grow in a Y shape so the stakes are put in on an angle to support each of the main branches. Looks pretty weird though huh? And there are masses of marigold plants planted around both the eggplant and okra as they are aphid magnets. Seriously I planted one marigold next to each veggie plant and then a couple more for good measure. Take that aphids!
And I forgot to take pictures of the snowpeas, cabbage, zucchinis, negi etc etc but you get the idea. This really is the growing season.
And now for the karaoke: It's been one week... nah, just kidding.