Friday, June 27, 2008

Hoes (or hose) and woes


Hail


It takes a lot of faith to raise a garden. And lots of knowledge. I'm long on the former and short on the latter. Something has caused massive destruction particularly among our tomato plants. A few Japanese beetles have been seen lurking around while aphids and white flies had a field day. We sprayed the plants with soapy water and haven't seen any more critters on them, but they are black, leaf-bare and trying to lay on the ground. The surrounding plants have also taken a big hit, but seem to be rebounding. A possible cause is the hail storm we had last week. Jaw-breaker-sized hail pummeled us for several minutes one afternoon. Although it didn't knock all the tomatoes, blossoms, and leaves off the plant, it did surround them with frozen marbles. I'm wondering if exposure to the temperature of the hail caused the damage and actually frost-bit the plants. Meanwhile, we weed (hoes), water (hose), and pray. I wonder about the motives of the robin who stands sentinel at the edge of the garden. Is he a carnivore, on our side in the bug wars? Or is he waiting for fresh produce? Should I encourage and protect him, or install a scarecrow?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Missouri Midsummer Madness

Grandpa Steve Plows the Back 40

At midsummer in Missouri, the kids and I have gone native. We've planted a vegetable garden in the backyard, I've put up 18 pints of jam, and spend all my spare time quilting. Our crops include corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, sweet potatoes, melons, pumpkins, aphids, white flies and Japanese beetles.