Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weigh in #8 - July 22nd - Guests arriving!

Arrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Another disatorously heavy week on the rubbish front. 51 bloody ounces! We need to tighten our belts and get back to the 11oz weeks! It's still a hangover from the world cup and having some meat eaters over. Well that's who I'm blaming!

That's a total of 145oz in thirteen weeks, so still good but maybe we've been resting on our laurels too much.

We're also a family of three right now and soon to be a family of four when my neice Lesley arrives from Cananda for some R&R.

First order of business will be our composting and recycling program! Hopefully it's not too hard to grasp.

Okay, back to wedding planning.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Apple Insects - help needed

Hi all

well I guess I should have done something about it earlier. I think the Squirrels are really messing with my mind now. They've been infecting my apples with some nasty little beasties.

I took some pictures and posted a question on Dave's Garden.com click here

but thought I'd let you guys have a stab at it.

Of course living in California it could be the brown apple moth, but let's see what the wider garden community has to say.

What with the squirrels eating the apples and then pouring these nasty worms all over them I hope there's some left for me to eat.

Oh yeah, and I had a screw stuck in the back of my car tyre last week - damned squirrels!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weigh in #7 - July 15; Garden Update and Fraggle Rock

So, almost getting behind with my weigh ins. Here is the weight in for this last week.

It was a massive 38.5oz, which is 2lb 6.5oz in old money, so over our quota for that week. It's time to take stock of where we are with our challenge.

Challenge started on April 23rd 2010 - Earth Day. We are at the end of week twelve which means our quota for rubbish should have been 24lbs. With today's weigh in we have reached the 94oz mark or 8lbs and 14oz. Until this week it was only 55oz so this weeks 38.5 is a bit of an anomaly. Maybe having too many people over to the world cup :-).

Anyway, we're still 15lbs and 2oz to the good on our challenge so thing are going really well.

Composting is in full swing and no matter how much we feed the tumbling composter bin it just eats it all up. It's maintaining a nice healthy temperature in there now.

The hot weather we've had for the last two weeks has certainly made my garden perk up too.

These German Giant Strawberry heirloom tomatoes have started to set on the plants.

I was surprised to see Red from Fraggle Rock hiding out in my corn stalks.

Maybe she and the doozers are keeping the squirrels away.

The corn "flowers" are in full blown and shedding their pollen down to the silks below. I found out that corn is wind pollinated from the male flowers, so should not have worried about the black aphids. I actually got rid of the aphids by spraying them with some water with one drop of bio-degradable detergent in it. Worked a treat.

The corn has started to sprout from the nodes below the flowers. Time to hang up some old cd's in the tree above the corn to try and keep the birds away. In the last week the corn has grew over a foot and is about 8 foot high. It's actually quite pretty.

Finally, proof that I am winning the battle against the slugs ; nice healthy looking marigolds. I planted these at the edges of the beds as sacrificial plants for the bugs and snails to feed on. Now they are growing so well I think my hand removal of snails, slugs and earwigs each night has paid off.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Garden update -

Well I thought it was time to give you an update on the garden. First picture here is looking from the deck (artistically) through the Calibrachoa towards the apple tree and the sweet corn.

This next one is the wee little herb garden and looking towards some of the tomato plants. I got my compass directions wrong, so this is where I will plant all of the tomatoes next year.

This year's pride and joy so far is my heirloom sweet corn, standing tall, at about 5 foot.

I think this is the "flower" part of the corn. It's a bit infested with black aphids..

some of which are being milked by the ants...

so if any of you know if this is a good thing or a bad thing please let me know.

Also in this plot are some bell peppers..

and some cucumbers growing in the shadow of the corn. The cucumber is protected from the earwigs by these old yogurt pots.

The plan was to train the cucumbers up the sweet corn, but it's obviously not working. Back to the drawing board on that one.

The apples are starting to grow bigger and bigger and should be a good harvest if I can keep the squirrels away. A few of the apples had been infested with a little wormy thing. I wonder if it's the brown apple moth that seems to be causing such a political storm here in California.

Finally the garden is very sweet smelling right now as my lilies have bloomed. They smell sooooooooooooooooooooooo good and soooooooooooooooooo intoxicating. Time to cut some more for the house!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Weigh in #6 - July 1st and a Chicken?

This has to be quick as it's World Cup time. There's been far more rubbish on display from the England team and the referees then Ananda and I have accumulated. So we weighed in with another 7oz this week. That gives us a accumulative total of 55.5oz, well under our target.

On leaving for work the other day I saw this lovely French Grey Hen in the drive way. Not really sure how it had got there, but it was super tame and we put it in the back yard. I was worried about it being run over. Anyway, when I got home from work, I aksed my neighbour if he knew if anyone kept chickens.

"Yes," he said, "my daughter". Turned out it's his daughter's pet. So, we had a chicken for a day. It didn't leave us any eggs, but some poop.

Right, time for bed. Big game tomorrow!!!