It has been about 2 weeks since my last post. It has been very dry the whole time and has not rained little more than a drizzle. I still spend most evenings in the garden from around 5 until dark at 6:30pm. This is all the time I budget for it really. In the mornings though I do go out there with my wife and sit at the water tank for a bit and collect anything that is ready for harvest. Little foraging sessions I guess you could say.
I really needed to provide some nutrients to the garden with most things nearing a harvest now. I was wanting to wait and do this together with the rain but since it was not coming I went ahead an did some watering with the mixture of my JADAM liquid fertilizer. I would use about half a liter to ever water can full. This gave the plants a little more water and nutrients through this dry period.
You can see the bubbles coming up from the biological activity when stirring the mass of vegetation in the water. Last time I did not wear gloves when doing the watering and inevitably some got on my hands and stunk the whole day. This time I tried to use gloves and it helped.
This is what a morning harvest will look like. I get between 5 to 10 tomatoes each morning and usually an egg plant, or some ground nuts, or zucchini also.
I pulled up one of my squashes early for science because it had been well eaten by some pests and it was on the same vine as a very healthy one so I removed it to let the healthy one have more nutrients.
It turns out that it was not too damaged by the pests and was good on the inside. I made a nice soup out of it with ground nut paste and lots of spiciness.
I hired a couple of the security guards from the resort to do some cutlass work on some of the very busy areas around the farm that could not be handled with the lawn mower. This finally gave me enough biomass to deeply mulch much of the farm that has plants and bare soil. I have been lacking mulch this season as my truck has been out of comission for it much of the time meaning I could not bring in outside material for mulch. Here you see a row of zuchinni mulched and to the left of that is two rows of peppers and peppers and tomatoes with a few bambara beans coming up in the mix.
A look back over that same area from the swale berm to the left with some almost ready pawpaw fruits.
I was able to also much the watermelon patch.
Below the last swale betweeen the garden area and the new plantings of the area that was plowed I have a line of squash that also got some deep mulching.
The whole farm looks like it now has a winter coat on it. The parameter is well mowed and everything is pretty well mulched and weeded on this side. This will help to keep any future rain water in the soil and keep weeds from coming up.
The corn and sunflowers I planted about a month ago are coming up strong.
The sweet potato patch is coming along nicely.
With the cutlass work that was done we took out a few thick thickets of Neem trees. I have used these to further mulch the last swale. I hope that the leaves will also serve to help deter pests.
The sorghums and millet keep climbing to the sky. The two rows below the corn was finished producing so it got chopped and dropped and heavily mulched also. It will be ready for planting again when we get rain.
I did a heavy prune back of a lot of the basil, here it is intermixed with tomatoes and peppers.
About 2 weeks ago I transplanted 7 plantain suckers into swale berms. They all seem to be taking off well. Last dry season I lost all of my suckers. I hope this time with more mulch and care to the swale and another full season of the ecosystem maturing that there will be enough water in the system to keep things going through the dry season. I can also irrigate this year which will help.
We have some massive okra growing that we are letting mature and dry to provide some very healthy fresh seeds. The corn here with the beans is starting to show some ears also. This will be the second mini crop of corn for the season.
The first swale at the top got a nice dressing in mulch and the plantains seem to be taking to their new home.
This week I did not make much progress on the bamboo fence but I will need to continue. This side will be a little stronger to keep things out of my neighbors field when I start running some pigs in designated areas of the farm.
I have set soem post around the road side of the parameter. These are a metal rode driven into the ground which was recycled from some old window boxes. I then pushed some old bamboo sticks over them. I will screw isulators into the bamboo and run 2 poly wires connected to a solar electric fence charger. This will help to keep cows, sheep and people out of the farm I hope. Someone stole a ripe pawpaw in the last few days.
@dzigbordi shows us some traditional pest prevention measures in this video.
Here you can see some ash that she put down on the good squash still on the vine.
Some more big okra waiting to dry for seed.
Some fruit does not make it past the pests. I sometimes leave some pest riddled tomatoes and things on the vine to be a sacrifice to additional pests. Sometimes I just throw them into the swale to rot and give nutrients back to the farm. Emulating nature here. But I am not sure if this is best practice or not as some would say that it would invite pests too or give them a place to breed and reproduce. But I think that perhaps it could give back to the ecosystem and be a decoy for the good ones growing.
Thanks again for checking out my garden. I am sorry about the ugly water marking. I am trying some free software to batch add my watermark to hopefully deter theft as has recently happened to me. I don't think I will use this software again though as it left its own trail watermark at the bottom. Let me know if you have any recommendations.