The good news about the garden is that the eggplants have made a full recovery from being chewed down to stubs by the blister beetles. It’s amazing how many pest problems can be solved by handpicking pests into soapy water. That said, it was actually really hard to kill the blister beetles, because they looked at me with such awareness and intelligence. I could tell they were very admirable insects, and I actually found myself apologizing to them as I plonked them into the water, saying, “I wish I didn’t have to do this…if only you weren’t eating MY food.” It’s not true that eating vegetables is bloodless. I kill so much more for my vegetables than for my meat.
The bad news this week has to do with my precious starts. Caterpillars did a lot of damage on the first batch. That batch has been planted and is thriving beautifully now, but it was set back from having to re-grow leaves afterwards. Then Flora and Sampson came by and “grazed” the second batch, killing off a lot of the kohlrabi and most of the cauliflower. They are both smaller than the rest of the cows and like to duck under the electric polywire.
We then tried moving the starts inside the garden fence, where it was apparently too sunny and they were fried in the afternoon sun. It was very bad for the lettuce. Then they were moved to a fenced-in spot at the top of the garden where the rabbits and bees used to be. It was perfectly shady/sunny, close to water, behind a fence. I thought I’d found the perfect spot – finally!
But alas. This week the cows busted the wooden gate down and muscled their way in and attacked the table where the starts were – overturning a whole flat of cauliflower, the spinach and all the lettuce,which were all just about ready to plant. I don’t know what everyone has against the cauliflower.
They crunched two of the nice new starting flats I had just bought under their clumsy hooves. It seems to have been mostly Isla and Meathead’s fault, which is only to be expected, really.
To make up for it, I planted a new row of parsnips, radishes, beets, lettuce and arugula in the garden. A few of the overturned lettuce plants were able to be salvaged and seem to have survived by being immediately planted. I think I could grow beautiful fall and winter vegetables, if only everyone else would stay away from them!