Look at all these giant green beans I harvested from my garden today. The rain has been good to us.
Look at all these giant green beans I harvested from my garden today. The rain has been good to us.
The little guy built his cocoon!
Yesterday while I was in my garden trying to get my pea plants to wrap around the trelis, a caterpillar fell off the plant and onto the ground. I picked it up and showed Bean. She loved it. Last caterpillar we found she wanted nothing to do with. My intentions were to smush it because there was evidence of quite a bit of damage throughout my garden from his eating habits.
He looked so much like the caterpillar in Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar that I decided not to. As a kid I always seemed to have a makeshift terrarium with some kind of bug in it that I had found while playing out side. This fact scares my husband and he’s always saying, “You aren’t going to turn her into a budding entemologist like you were as a kid are you? Because that means she’ll always be bringing bugs inside the house and I’m going to have to be the one to deal with them, you know.”
Last summer when I watched my nieces for a week while their parents were in Norway I had the pleasure of participating in their caterpillar turned butterfly homeschool study. I got to help the girls let the butterflies go. It was quite fun. We also went to a live butterfly exhibit at the Santa Barbara Natural History museum that summer. I could pay for a little caterpillar/butterfly kit, but why when I have all I need right in my kitchen and little garden?
So I grabbed a mason jar from our pantry, filled it with a little soil, stuck in some leaves from some of our produce in the fridge and introduced the caterpillar to his new home.
Bean is completely facinated and would sit on my lap watching it all day if I let her. We’ve also read the afforementioned book about 500 times since then.
So then last night I dreamed that the caterpillars were taking over. That we had a whole bunch of jars of them because we kept finding them in the garden and I couldn’t bring myself to kill them and disappoint Bean. Stephen was pissed at me because of all the caterpillars in jars. They got out and we kept finding them crawling on everything. This morning I almost threw the whole thing out. Instead, I just gave it some new leaves to eat.
I’ll keep you all updated on the metamorphasis, caterpillar dreams, and Stephen’s level of tolerance. 🙂
I tend to write blogs in bunches. Sorry if that overwhelms some of you. I’ve tried to do the whole schedule thing to spread them out, but for some reason it never seems to work right for me and I wind up with a bunch of unpublished blogs that I have to go and publish myself.
So first post today is about my garden. Despite all the morning sickness pretty much immediately following the planting of the garden, I’ve still managed not to kill it. This is mainly due to the fact that my husband installed a timer for our drip watering system so I don’t have to actually remember to or feel up to watering it every single day. It does it all alone.
I was a little worried about my bell peppers because the got all dark colored for a couple days, but now they are turning red. So I guess even though their label clearly showed green bell peppers, they are going to actually be red ones.
In other misleading plant label news… apparently I got a cherry tomato plant instead of an Early Girl tomato plant:
These little guys have been completely delicious, just much smaller than I was expecting. If you have some great tomato growing secrets. please share them because I think I must be doing something wrong. But then again everyone I know is having size issues with their tomato plants this year, at least I know it isn’t just me.
Oh and my Oregano plant is getting a little out of control with its tendrils:
There are a lot of weeds and spiders out there. We’ve had a series of black widows building webs inside and outside of our grill. I am thinking we must have accidentally transported an egg sack with us from Bakersfield because they really aren’t that common here.
The compost bin is still ruminating though, I haven’t had the stomach to open it up and add stuff to it for quite some time. It is kind of disappointing to toss so much green waste, but that’s just the way it is when you have a sensitive gag reflex. Plus, the bin has been germinating some interesting fly species. First we had these little red ones and now there are these weird little black ones. The black ones made me extremely nervous at first because they showed up right after our trip to Mammoth and we did not have good experiences with black flies there (blood sucking ones to be exact), but thankfully these ones are just really lazy and don’t do anything. I think Stephen’s over the whole composting thing and isn’t sure why we did it in the first place. I doubt he’ll let me start it up again next year, but I know we’ll have some great fertilizer for the crops next year.
Anyway, that about sums up the current status of our garden. I did see a much more extravagant and well kept garden today that I plan to share photos of in my next post.
This is what happens when you get morning sickness and neglect your garden and then go on a trip for four days and leave your garden to its own devices.
Hello three foot lettuce.
I do have lots and lots of little green tomatoes though so hopefully they won’t take much work and I can enjoy them in a few weeks.
Also what happens when you have morning sickness?
Not working out, that’s what. I think I worked out a whole 4 days of Steph’s challenge.
Even more disturbing…
No, I’m not talking about the unkempt eyebrows, though that is a horrid side effect of the morning sickness. See all that red blotchiness? That would be broken blood vessels. They are all over my face. That should give you some idea of the sheer force that went into vomiting my dinner Saturday night on the side of NV-28 in Lake Tahoe.
At least Stephen has learned his lesson about pulling over when I tell him that I’m going to puke.
My sister’s wedding was lovely, but I let the professionals do their thing and didn’t get in the way. So you’ll have to wait until I can snatch some pictures up from other people to see how beautiful everything was.
Today I was finally able to make it out into my garden to see what the heck is going on out there. I was disappointed to discover that one of my lettuce plants had gone to seed and was really, really bitter. Straight into the compost bin it went!
There was copious amounts of grass growing out there. So I tried to pull a lot of it out. Then I harvested five of my remaining lettuce plants.
Needless to say we are having some big salads over the next couple days!
I stirred up my compost. And this is the barometer for how very different this pregnancy is. The compost literally smells like day old puke. Really gross. But I don’t even come close to gagging when I open the bin or stir the stuff. It is so weird. I’m planning to apply all that yucky goo to the ground this fall and maybe even renting a rototiller from Home Depot to really get the soil turned up and loosened. Then I’ll try my hand at a winter garden.
I’m wondering if I can convince Stephen to let me plant some dwarf citrus trees back there.
Yes I have big plans.
Anyway, when I was done stirring my compost and putting back the D-Fork, I nearly screamed when I saw this guy because I thought he was a snake at first by the way he kept his legs so close to his body.
Nope, just a lizard. Probably cashing in on the red fly population that has taken up residence in and near my compost bin. Bleh!
Also exciting in my garden today? I finally have some little green tomatoes! I am so excited!
Anyway, I really need to do the sink full of dishes and find a place for all that lettuce. And I need a shower. So that’s about it from me today.
Today I was bored. So I decided to take Bean to the park by our apartment and check out the Botanical garden there.
First I parked and walked around the park. Then we went to the play area and I pushed Bean on the baby swings. She really likes swinging! After walking around the park I figured out where the entrance to the Botanical garden was and that a stroller would not work there. So I decided to walk back to my car and ditch the stroller for the ring sling.
As I approached my car I was kind of freaked out because there were three fire engines and a bunch firemen running around shouting and rolling out hoses. After a couple minutes I figured out that there was no fire and my car wasn’t in danger. The Ventura County Fire Department was just doing some sort of wildfire hillside spray drill.
So I did what any good blogger would do and I whipped out my cell phone to document it…
After all that excitement I managed to wrangle Bean into the sling and set off for the Botanical garden. Once in the entrance there were about three different trails you could take.
I decided to take the “short loop” because it had the word “short” in it and I was hoping that was really the case. I wasn’t wearing proper shoes for the occasion, by any means.
It was the perfect length hike. Very naturey. I will definitely be going back in the future to try the other trails.
Though I will admit I was a bit freaked out along the way because of these guys running all over the place…
I kept thinking, “Oh no! Was that a snake?!?…. Oh. Just another stupid lizard.”
So I planted a garden. It has everything that I use a lot of in my cooking: tomatoes, lettuces, herbs, and bell peppers. It was really hard work and hopefully I don’t kill anything!
I’m also hoping the squirrels don’t kill it. Our neighbor said he tried to plant stuff a couple years ago and those guys ate their plants down to nubs!
I planted some Marigolds for a natural insect repellant (I learned this from our sixth grade class garden and my mom) and a lone Gerber Daisy because they’re my favorite.
I’m really sore all over from the project.