And yet another article on the dirty deeds of Monsanto. This one outlines a possible connection between Monsanto crops and birth defects in chickens. I know I've been seeing more stories coming out of other countries regarding chicks born with extra sets of legs and such. There may be a connection to Monsanto.
I've griped about Monsanto for years, their seed-patenting, toxic Round-Up products, and GMO crops. Now genetically engineered canola is popping up in the wild, and may become an uncontrollable weed, since they are herbicide resistant. Read the story here.
I've written in the past about Monsanto, their unethical and heavy-handed business practices, and the negative impact they are having on agriculture. I found another article today regarding them, this time on the Survivalist Seeds website. I tracked it down to an article written by P.J. Huffstutter of the LA Times. Read it here, and be aware.
I have something going on with my Roma tomatoes. It begins on green, developing fruit. First the blossom will hold on rather than fall off...
I have to pull the blossoms off. After pulling this one off, this is what the blossom end looks like... Is that Blossom End Rot? I'm confused, because there are several things that are very similar. Blight, Blossom End Rot, Buckeye Rot. And they mostly seem to be caused by soil splashing up and contaminating the fruit, but my fruit is high up and should be free of soil.
Today I plucked my first ripe tomato...
...and you can see how the blossom end rotted away. This is going on with ALL of the fruit coming in.
What's the deal? And is this some fungus that is going to affect my grape tomatoes starting to blossom nearby? Do I just need to destroy all of this fruit, and the new fruit coming in will be fine? Maybe the first tomato was affected by blight or something, and it has spread it to the other fruit? So maybe if I destroy all those affected and start fresh, the new fruit will be okay.
The garden is coming along. I haven't killed everything...yet. The tomato plants are getting big! They grow day-by-day, and every morning I am amazed at how much bigger they are than the day before. This little tomato is a little odd! There are lots of tomaters just waiting to taunt my imagination with future meals! And this little guy is even showing me a little color... The mangoes continue to develop... Today I found this on my eggplant... Looks like an assassin bug of some sort, and is very reminiscent of this monster that Woodrow picked up the other day when we were at my aunt's house... I also have lots of these little garden protectors... Lizards are all over the place down here. I love them.
One thing I am not as fond of are the lubbers. I have TONS of lubbers that hatched this year. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was related to the wet dry season that we had this year. I don't know. All I do know is that they are everywhere, in all sizes.
I've worried about my vegetable garden, but so far there haven't been any problems. I've seen damage to my sheffelera, but I intend to get rid of that anyway. So I'm okay with that. But the last couple of days, I have found that something seems to be taken with my cucumber plant. And I've been noticing lately that my loquat is getting eaten up, but wasn't sure what was doing it... Well, the other day I finally spotted the culprits. That would be three Little Leaf Notcher Weevils stacked on top of one another. These guys are really eating up my loquat. I'm trying to do an organic yard without the use of pesticides, but I may wind up having to do something here.
The veggies are growing well. Remember this shot? This was taken when I first planted the garden on May 2 (19 days ago). Boy how my garden grows! (Just call me Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary!)
The cantaloupe is taking over... I see now why you are supposed to plant them with perhaps 4-6 feet between them and other plants... ...as the cantaloupe is latching on and strangling my pepper plants and eggplants surrounding it. The zucchini plant is really growing. The leaves on it are HUGE! And it has tons of blossoms coming in. The cucumber also has blooms... I got a strawberry off of my strawberry plant from last year. One tiny little berry... I said that if it was really sweet and good, I would have to buy more plants to grow more berries...
My garden has an infestation of lubbers of all sizes and stages. This one is one of the largest so far this season. It was probably 2 1/2 - 3 inches.
So, of course, I've worried about my plants. So far, there haven't been any signs of trouble, but today I noticed a couple of holes in one leaf. Perhaps this can be attributed to the lubbers, but maybe it is something else. It's actually become a daily thing for me to go to water the garden in the morning, and have a couple of lubbers running away from my garden-- but I've never seen them *in* the garden. Then the other day I found four or five of them around the compost bin, which is located near the garden. So I have to wonder whether it is actually the compost that attracts the lubbers, and not my garden after all.
I potted a couple of red bell pepper plants recently. Within a couple of days, I noticed one of them had wilted. I figured maybe I didn't pot it well, and left some "empty space" around the root ball. Then Saturday I forgot to water the garden before we headed out to do some things, and by the time I watered it late in the afternoon, I found my potted plants had all wilted. So far, the other red bell pepper hasn't revived. So I may have lost them both. Dang it!
My roma tomato is doing great! It keeps growing by leaps and bounds, and there are blossoms everywhere! I have one little pepper on my old plant from last summer. If memory serves me, this is a yellow bell pepper.
My catnip is gone. Whatever got at it (presumably a neighboring cat?) completely destroyed it. I have a couple of strawberries, and a couple more blossoms on my old strawberry plants from last year. I have my first eggplant bloom... ...and a number of future eggplant blossoms just waiting. We'll see what happens with them. I was told that you need two plants to get fruiting. So that's what I did. I have my first cucumber blossom... ...and a number of zucchini blossoms coming in. Here is a shot of the cucumber in front, with the watermelon and zucchini behind. And here we have the three peppers (poblano, jalapeno and green bell pepper) in front, with the cantaloupe in back on the left and one of the eggplants on the right. These have all grown nicely since first planted a couple of weeks ago. My cantaloupe is really doing well, with tons of blossoms... And some of the peppers are about to blossom... So far I've counted 3 mangoes on the tree. Small harvest this year, and they are all so high up I'll have to wait for them to fall on their own! And what's this? A lone cauliflower plant that survived from last summer. After I found out that cauliflower is almost impossible to bring to fruition this far south, I used most of the leaves in a sausage-potato soup. So, for the most part, the veggies are doing quite well. My experimental test garden is going well so far!
Do you have a question? A suggestion? Something you would like to share on the blog? Contact me via email and let me know what you think.
Someone whose diet consists of food grown or produced within an area most commonly bound by a 100 to 250-mile radius of their home. Locavores usually shun large supermarket chains, opting for farmer's markets and local gardens instead. It is also a current trend for many high-end restaurants as well.
I am a new homeowner who inherited an unruly garden, but it is my new sandbox. I get to play around and create new things.
It also means that I am now free to grow my own food (at least on a small scale-- I don't have a huge backyard.) In these troubling economic times I find, like so many others, that there is a certain empowerment that comes with the idea of being able feed yourself with food grown in your own garden. There is a certain satisfaction and security in knowing that the food you are growing is fresh and organic, grown without chemicals and packed full of nutrition. I'm looking forward to this satisfaction.
But so far I am just a beginner. I've just started creating my sand castle, and have barely begun to lay the foundation. There is a lot for me to learn, and I will share some of what I learn in this blog.
If you want to follow along and watch the progress on my garden, you are welcome to check out my Weedy Garden blog, where I document my accomplishments and failures with my own little backyard Eden.