Sunday, April 06, 2008

april 1st

It’s a bright, bright sunny day with a good breeze – perfect beach weather. Not so good for the gandul transplants. They’ll make it I’m sure but this sun will set them back. I hung a sarong over them to offer some shade, but I think they’ll lose their leaves.
The watermelons seem to be taking such a long time. I read 80 – 85 days from shoot to harvest, we are over a third of the way through but they only have 7 leaves.
The white spots I thought were mold from all the wet humid weather we had last week turn out to be aphid abodes, white aphids, I’ve been removing them whenever I see them, the grasshoppers are much more dangerous.
It looks like there’s new growth on the wild spinach in the leaf bed. It’s been 12 days since I put them there. That’s great! I’d like to move more. I put some beans on the leaf bed too and they sprouted and sent out growth but the 4 days of strong sun this week has fried them. I’ll wait for more rainy weather and try again. There are enough leaves to rake and add to the bed too. It is now just under ½ of its original size, inside it’s mulching down nicely and we haven’t had much rain.
Yesterday I picked some perennial peanut for transplanting. It’s a pretty groundcover, a legume with a nice yellow pea flower and clover like leaves. It can withstand flooding and droughts and can be mowed. I was thinking of putting it in the low land under the mangos and using it as a nitrogen fixer and longterm soil builder, and of course it will look better than the sparse grass that’s there now.
Coming along the drive last night there was a sound like rain coming from the pejabayes. I thought it was pissing monkeys but why would a monkey sit in a spine covered pejabaye palm? Then in the garden I was collecting guavas and got hit by many small round hard white flowers – like hail. Pejabayes are flowering and drop their flowers at dusk. I wonder if we’ll get the fruit? The pejabayes in the garden are 30 feet tall and impossible to climb, the fruit hangs in clusters at the top. I think the toucans will be lucky. The fruit is very popular here, a starchy nutty vegetable which is steamed and eaten with mayonnaise. All over San Jose street vendors sell them straight out of great steaming cookpots. the pejabaye is also a great source of palmitas – the white heart of palm that’s eaten fresh or in brine. We cut down a young palm, about 12 feet tall and got about 2 feet of palmitas, so good we stood there over the fallen tree, machetes in hand, gorging ourselves.