Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Garden Update

I don't mean to brag, but I grew these two tomato plants from SEED. Have you ever seen how small a tomato seed is? From a little egg carton in my windowsill to this:

That's JL next to it so you can see how tall they've gotten. He's in the habit of making up yoga poses to get a laugh out of me. He called this one "scarecrow pose". No tomatoes yet but they're flowering. The sad thing is we're leaving tomorrow for 3 weeks and won't be able to water. If it stays as hot and sunny as it's been these guys are in trouble. Also, we've got a red pepper that's doing pretty well and while we already got a lot of banana peppers off that little plant, it's flowering again as if it's got another round left in it.

The rest of the garden hasn't done so hot. The basil plants flourished inside but when I brought them out they withered right up. We had some basil, mint and cilantro going for a while but we pretty much used them up and they stopped growing. Two of the tomato plants we bought got big and tall and started growing big tomatoes but they were rotting on the bottom. JL investigated and they had root rot, as we suspected. We're pretty sure we weren't giving the plants good enough soil. I kept buying compost instead of soil accidentally (since I can't read Japanese and hadn't researched garden words/kanji) so we had to use a mix of compost/soil that was probably too much of the former, not enough of the latter.

Our neighbors put us to shame. I should have pictures of the mini-farms they've got going. Rows of beautiful Japanese eggplant plants, corn taller than me, huge tomato plants, etc. Everything is so...organized. It seems like everywhere you go around here there are ancient Japanese folks stooped over tending their large gardens. They're even keeping bees up the mountain from us. The special needs kids at school help the maintenance man grow vegetables and then we teachers buy them--leeks, potatoes, etc. Right across the street everything is growing gangbusters. Then I come home to our straggly plants.

Ah well, it's been fun to come home from work and see how much everything has grown in a day. Practice makes perfect. Hopefully we'll have better luck next year.

The taxi picks us up at 3am tonight. We're headed to Narita airport, Hong Kong for a 4 hour layover, then Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. We'll be in Bali (and neighboring Lombok?) for 3 weeks. Hooray for paid vacation in exotic locales! We are looking forward to swimming and snorkeling, visiting temples, doing yoga, hiking volcanoes, taking an Indonesian cooking class, clubbing and relaxing on the beach. It'll be nice to have a break from Japan as well :)

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