I checked the Cukes this morning. Oh my, the bugs have invaded most of the leaves! I didn't have time to give them another spray, but I'll have to add more essential oils to the water/dish soap when I get to it on Monday.
On removing some of the leaves, I discovered a small Cuke growing in. YAY! It made me smile to see that despite the bugs, the Cuke plant is growing along :) I spotted 4 or 5 tiny Cukes; they seem to be about the same size as when I checked a few days ago. Tomorrow or the next day, I'll make sure to give the plants a good look-see over. I'm actually wondering if the bug proliferation (besides the humid weather, and no rain is in sight for the next several days) might be do to overfeeding. I used a fish oil emulsion, and the one I was using seemed to have burned the leaves on some of the plants, whereas others had a white "baking soda" look. I've since changed brands, but as I mentioned (and as I've read), too much isn't necessarily a good thing.
I have added some of my old infusions diluted with water on a few occasions as a fertilizer. I don't think that would be a contributing factor, because the tea contained mineral-rich herbs such as Comfrey and Nettle. Indeed, as I'm writing this, I'm thinking about Tansy and how she was looking at me as if I should take her flowers and use her medicine. Thing is, Tansy is often grown just for that reason, as an insecticide plant. And I'm thinking I could dry her flowers, make an infusion, and then add that infusion diluted with water and spray over the leaves. Might work. I'd have to return to Bellefield and do a test and see :)
Mini mini-foraging adventure at work: 2 "minis," because the grass and even the weeds are dry. I was thinking, as I was actively seeking out the weeds on the lawn at work, that people wonder how to get rid of weeds. Really?! I want to grow weeds by the side of the house and they won't grow! Ha ha, but why not? No sun! Weeds need light and water, so depriving them of sun and water = no weeds.
And searching for weeds on the lawn seemed almost laughable today, as there were so few Violet leaves to be found, maybe 1 Dandelion plant, and a few tiny leaves of Wild Strawberry. The lawn hasn't been mowed in at least a week and hasn't been watered either. Dry, dry, and the plants won't be proliferating until they receive some magic from Mother Nature via rain.
On the plus side, the berries are here, and I found a chair that would allow me to collect a good bunch of Chokecherries. Picking them off reminded me of how I had made several recipes last year and have yet to put those pics and recipes together into an ebook!
Picking the berries under the tree, I felt so nurtured and comforted, like being in the womb. The berries dazzled at me, showing me which ones to come and take. There was no way I could reach them all, I would most certainly need a ladder (and there's none at work). That was OK, because critters like to eat the berries too. In fact, as I was standing under the branches, I could hear a few of them above, dropping berries onto the ground.
Don't throw any berries onto my head, I silently scolded them.
Or maybe it was the birds, because I heard squawking too. Or perhaps both of them.
In any case, there's food for all of us, and I plan on turning my Chokecherries this year into a fruity jello :)
Last night, by the way, I tried the Queen Anne's sun tea again. Yech! Doesn't taste good to me at all, and although I could freeze her and use her as stock, as I mentioned in the last diary entry, I'm going to add her to the watering can to give back some minerals to the plants....
Speaking of which, all plants are doing well and will have to do a bit of gardening come Monday. Marshmallow leaves need a pruning, Nasturtium leaves are starting to lose energy as the flowers have come in, some have even already started to go to seed. Meanwhile, Phlox and Pansy are now finally in flower and it will be time to harvest some flowers and leaves. No blossoms on Candy Tuft, too bad, and Hyssop seems to be dying out, perhaps could use more sun. Yarrow flowers are fading, but I'd like them to go to seed and collect them for next year. Mallow plants have made many seeds but also still have flowers. Butterfly weed, I'm happy to say I checked on her just today, is slowly growing along and has NO orange aphids on her. The Pepper plants I planted out front where Hollyhocks should've been (but didn't come in), seem to have taken root and I hope to be able to get a good harvest from them.
Two of the Pepper plants I planted on the back balcony already have tiny green Peppers forming, how wonderful! I was marveling at them just this morning before I had to pop off to work. I will have to ask my neighbor if they are a hybrid variety, if so, the seeds can't be used for the next year. I did that once, I kept the seeds from a Pepper plant and the next year when I planted them --- surprise! they came in, but the Peppers were a mini-mini version of their former parents. That's the thing with hybrid plants, you don't know how they'll turn out the next year --- which is why open-pollinated and heirloom seeds are really the way to go :)
Lavender has yet to bloom, she's growing with Purslane, who seems so happy to be where she is. In previous years, I've planted her in flower pots, way too small for her. The leaves are large (well, large for Purslane, as she is more of low growing plant), with a shininess and glow to their leaves. She's really a great one to add to salads, I tell you, her taste is mild, just like Chickweed or Iceberg lettuce. I've added her to pestos --- I cook the greens that need it, then puree in ones that don't need to be cooked, like Purslane, Chickweed, Dill and other herbs.
Speaking of which, my last pesto recipe I used Green Beans and Red Lentils as the base, then added in 3 cups of mixed cooked Wild Greens, plus 2 cups of greens that didn't need cooking, including a good handful of Dill. Mmm, it came out so smooth and thick, like a tasty Wild Dilly Dahl! I might write down that recipe actually, as I've been writing down several of my wild pesto recipes. This was one of the first ones where I didn't add in any fat. Usually, I've added in a nut butter or some soaked seeds, but I tell you that pesto (I call it pesto, you could call it a dip or spread, same thing) doesn't need it! The top changes color, but no biggy, it's completely edible and as delish as the unchanged colored part underneath.
Since the weather is looking sunny and bright next week, I'm thinking a trip to a new field might be in order. I know of 2 where I could go: one is not too far away from a hospital (where I go to do my blood tests) and the other is right close to a hardware store. Why do I mention such details? For pee-pee reasons, of course! Yes, that's one thing about foraging in the city, you can't just go anywhere you please ;)
And on that ha-ha note, my dear sunshine, keep shining your radiant light, cuz there's many more adventures yet to come :)
PS. Sorry, but no pics this time around ;)
Curiosity Got The Cat: