Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hot time in the garden!

We are home for a few days before taking off on another adventure (probably bike touring in the mountains in Nigata on the west side of Japan). Joan has a million and one things she wants to do, and one of them was a compost bin at her garden. According to the farmers, the soil there needs regular additions of different things: chicken dung, cow manure, and store-bought compost. Store-bought compost!? So, of course, with their permission, we built a chicken-wire compost bin...

Yesterday, we rode to J-Mart, the big home and garden store south of us, to load up on chicken wire and other garden sundries.

Today, after a late start (just to let it get nice and hot), we headed out to the garden. We quickly
staked the chicken wire into shape using large green poles the farmers usually stake their beans, tomatoes, and eggplant.

Joan started a new lasagna garden bed and generally cleaned up and puttered about, filling
her new compost bin quite quickly.

I went over to the blueberry bushes to collect that last of a very bountiful harvest. The farmers have about 20 or so very productive blueberry bushes, but they don't want to harvest them: I guess the labor compared to the profit turned out to not be worth it. So, just like last year, they told us to have at them! And have at them, we have...

I am not sure how much we have harvested in total, but Joan made about 14 jars of jam, and we have eaten a lot with breakfast cereal.

Also, they are finished harvesting mini-tomatoes; the plants are not producing enough consistently and rain has split the skin of many of them, even though they are still edible. The Japanese grocery store shopper is very picky, and the fruit must be visually perfect. However,
there are literally 1000's of tomatoes still on the plant that are good to eat. With Takashi's urging, I harvested a boatload today; we will make sauce with them when we get back and freeze it for winter soups and curries.

And did I mention it was hot today? It wasn't too bad around 10 when we started, but by noon, it was almost 90 degrees, and with the heat index, it was well over 100.

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