Friday, May 27, 2011

Beach Farm Bugs, Plantings

We've had a excess of grubs, and then a flurry of these wasps buzzing around, low to the ground, never quite landing. On my return the next day, it was cool and cloudy, and the wasps were gone. Until I started digging. Then I would find them on the surface of the soil, seemingly stunned, often wanting to dig themselves back in. My instinct is that these wasps are here for the grubs. I thought maybe that they were the adult of the grub, but nixed that idea in favor of feeding or laying eggs on the grubs. And since they appeared to have little interest in us, I was pleased they were around should they take out some grubs.

The camera picked up the hairiness, that I was not able to make see.

Of course, click on the image for much larger hairy wasp.

The grubs that I believe are responsible for some lost plants.

These images are from last Sunday, what seems to have been the last of the cool days of spring if weather forecasts are accurate for the coming days. I hearing 90; I'm sure you've heard it too. Ninety has me concerned for the irrigation is yet to be installed, the peas are in their prime, the tomatoes have just been planted, and the broccoli under the heat-increasing tent. Ninety is too much, too fast, and it well seems that the weather has turned on the heat with a switch. Remember last June, it was well in the 90s and little rain for nearly a month. At least we've had rain.

The arugula and asian greens performed poorly this year. I got them in early, yet they didn't move, then it was coolish and rainy and yet they bolted. The red mesclun has not bolted, but hasn't taken off either. All have tasted good, if now a little bitter or spicy. They will be pulled if the weather heats up as they're saying.

The tomato support system has attracted some beach farm attention, no one being quite sure what I was doing, although one farmer did admire that I was using a tape measure. His garden is also quite orderly. I had one broccoli doing quite well from last year's winter crop. Even though I had to plant the tomatoes, I just pushed one snug up against the broccoli.

A view of the garlic from our neighbor's plot. I will not be able to get this shot this summer as he has planted corn. We're sure he didn't give much thought to planting tall-growing corn on the northern edge of his plot, which will shade part of ours. We decided to place a path on our southern border to mitigate any shade gardening. Otherwise, it shouldn't matter all that much -broccoli will be planted where the garlic is now.

I started some seeds on Wednesday! Foolish as it is, I've planted peppers and eggplant. These plants like warm soil temps for germination, and we'll have that. The question is whether or not they will grow rapidly enough to be planted at the beach farm successfully. I've planted some new seeds -poblano peppers and various basils, but I've also planted some very old seeds, maybe 14 years old. I had some New Mexico Chile, Italian Sweet Peppers (Corno di Toro) and two varieties of heirloom eggplant -all old Shepherd's Seeds. Will they sprout, survive, take off? I love a good experiment. If they don't, I'll find some starts which I intend to plant where the tented broccoli is, sometime before we depart for Minnesota this June.

We have a visitor in town, keeping me from the work. But on the other hand, we attended Carnegie Hall last night to see friend Marouan Benabdallah give his debut recital. But today, I must farm, must roll out the irrigation pipe. I believe in irrigation. And sunscreen.


  1. Incredible bug photos. What kind of camera are you using? I wish we had those wasps here as every time I stick a shovel in the ground I turn up a grub or two. I kind of like the satisfying pop they make between my fingers though.

  2. I am so happy to see your garlic growing so well. I just made pesto with the scapes I harvest. It is super garlicky but very very good! I can't wait to harvest the garlic itself... Can barely contain my excitement.


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