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The Zen of the Edible Garden

Comments on The Zen of the Edible Garden

Nihil Loc
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Posted 04/30/14 - 2:53 PM:
Subject: The Zen of the Edible Garden
The days will continue to get longer as we approach June 21st and this entails seasonal weather change.

Precipitation levels drop substantially while the rate of evaporation climbs. Plants transpire far more to keep cool. This means daily irrigation becomes necessary.

I harvested a nice batch of Kuroda carrots. Carrots are pretty tough and resistant to dry soil. I'm going to try a type of black carrot next.

The Kale does well in heat and cold but they'll eventually hit a size in which bacterial rot ravages them. Then they begin to stink like rotting fish.

My Chinese cabbage (Bok Choi) is collapsing under the heat, so I'll need to use them up.

Tomatoes are summer heat tolerant. Types currently going in include Wild Cherry Tomatoes and Grape Tomatoes.

Bush Beans are going in. They taste so damn good and are easy to grow.

I'm trying a large heirloom zucchini one last time. The fruit flies get to the fruit before I do and the last plant got a mosaic virus that put it into suspended animation.

I've got some gourds too I could turn into bottles.



Nihil Loc
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Posted 05/09/14 - 5:22 PM:

The environment is rife with opportunists.

Every organism is looking for food energy, as am I in the production of vegetables and fruit.

The fruit flies are terrible. They will land on any soft bodied fruit and stick a rather rigid abdominal needle (like a bee's stinger) into it and then deposit eggs. These eggs hatch very quickly and then fruit fly maggots set to work eating premature fruit inside. All my labor and time spent waiting for the yield period is for naught.

They destroyed the only Afghan Honeydew melon that formed, going right through the nylon leggings I tried to shield the fruit with.

Other problematic invaders include the ants which have been tending scale on my Myer Lemon. There is some symbiotic relationship going on there and I suspect the scale does better with the ants. I think the ants transport the scale. Therefore a sticky barrier around the trunk is a must. Further performance problems might indicate root infestation but I hate to use systemic pesticides.
Wentworth
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Posted 05/17/14 - 10:08 PM:

To Nihil Loc: Reading your Topic was fascinating. The subject and detail was very educational and informative. As for myself and many others most people don't give much thought to gardening and the delicate balance that is required in horticulture. It is a science and a gift. Personally, I do not have a green thumb. Like many Americans, we depend on professionals to take care of our gardening and landscaping needs. As for myself, I have to depend on those who have expertise to deal with northern climates, and those adept for sub-tropical climates. You are to be admired for the dedication you have, and for the hard work you must employ to make your efforts pay off. Farming in America is a multibillion dollar industry, and vast amounts of produce is exported and imported, notwithstanding what is grown for domestic consumption. When grocery shopping, few customers even think about what went into providing the the cornucopia of fruits and vegetables that are available, including those that are 100% organic. Thank you for sharing this aspect of your life. Sincerely, Wentworth
Nihil Loc
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Posted 05/18/14 - 3:02 AM:

Thanks for the reply, Wentworth.

All aspects of food interest me, from farm to table. I do some landscaping work and am rather disappointed in the wasteful non-utility of keeping things "looking nice". When people are going hungry in the world, why waste gas and water on stuff like that. People should be growing food plants instead, learning how to eat better. Gardening is just a hobby though, I'm no farmer.

I find real satisfaction in growing edible plants but it is also tough to do. The bugs can be a killer and water is the limiting input in the Summer. I'm on the same latitude as Mexico, 21 degrees N. Temperature varies from 60 to 90 degrees F year around. The growing season is continuous.

Food is fascinating subject. It is so vital to life and yet is so easily taken for granted; no one questions where it comes and who grew it, who picked it, the amount of energy it took to produce and to transport...




thedoc
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Posted 05/18/14 - 6:11 PM:

One of my complaints is that when people move into an area that hasn't been occupied by "Civilized" people before, is that the first thing they do is to strip the land so that they can grow a "Cash Crop" rather than exploring to see what is growing there that is eatable. Why do they "slash and burn" a viable rain forest to grow crops that will fail in a few years?
Nihil Loc
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Posted 05/18/14 - 6:34 PM:

thedoc wrote:
One of my complaints is that when people move into an area that hasn't been occupied by "Civilized" people before, is that the first thing they do is to strip the land so that they can grow a "Cash Crop" rather than exploring to see what is growing there that is eatable. Why do they "slash and burn" a viable rain forest to grow crops that will fail in a few years?


I suppose it is just the way of postindustrial life. Land is a resource and there are market demands. Lumber is a hot commodity (no one had to plant it and wait for it to grow) and then once the land has been cleared you burn the remaining brush make planting easy.

"Slash and burn" was a method used by South American natives as a part of subsistence living. By virtue of their small numbers cleared areas could recover. Slash and burn today is most likely a part of profit driven large scale industries.
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