THE GOOD NEWS
We've got zucchini and summer squash coming in beautifully.
Green tomatoes getting bigger by the minute.
Oh how I can't wait for a sun ripened,
sun warmed tomato from the vine.
The sunflower house is coming along pretty nicely.
Miss B seems pleased and her little friends enchanted with it.
THE BAD NEWS
Squash bugs, Japanese beetles, earwigs (not seen in photos)
and stink bugs are also loving the garden.
THE GOOD NEWS
The squash bugs squish easily
Japanese beetles can't swim.
Birds will supposedly eat them. Welcome birds!
The weevils seem to love the beer I brewed last summer
that we didn't particularly care for.
In fact the guzzlers have drunk it all!
I am actually on the cusp of buying alcohol for earwigs.
I know that if I buy a single bottle of cheapo brew I am going to feel weird
and then be compelled to tell the clerk,
who couldn't care less that it's for the earwigs.
Yeah, sure earwigs.
THE WORST NEWSI received the lab results back on the three soil samples I sent off to the state lab a couple weeks ago. One bed is highly contaminated with lead and the other two have minor contamination. Yikes! I should receive more quantitative test results in 2-4 weeks. Agh! I think it's safe to say we will not be eating any squash or cukes from the highly contaminated bed. Ironically this is the only row of squash the squash bugs have yet to discover - maybe they knew something we didn't? My plan with the other two beds is to not consume anything in the flower bed...sure we planted some edible flowers but not a huge loss. We could call it a mild disappointment. The other bed has berry bushes and onions, black beans, squash tomatoes. Will plan on harvesting and then either storing (onions) or freezing (everything else) and being sure to label it as to it's origin so that I can dispose of it if need be. I am so, so, so amazingly thankful that I decided to have the soil tested! And so glad that the majority of the vegetable garden is in raised beds with imported soil. Will plan on doing a follow-up post with more info on lead contaminated soil and food grown there. From my initial research it seems that greens are the worst, but that fruits (cukes, tomatoes etc.) are better in terms of not containing lead. I do want to thank the folks at Root Simple for sharing their own struggles with lead contaminated soil, and my friends in my permaculture group. I'm a country gal. I would never have thought to test for lead. Of course I've never grown so close to an old house before, or close to a road for that matter.
THE BEST NEWS
We seem to be puttering about in the garden every evening after supper.
Miss B. begs for snap peas, or sheep's sorrel.
A great way to end each day.
Weeding, picking, pinching in this jungle that we've grown.
Miss B had a new little neighborhood friend over the other night.
The girl gasped when she saw the back raised beds.
My little one shrugged and said "Yeah, my mom likes to garden a lot."
And I do.