After my little trip away, I was not sure what I'd return to find happening in the garden. I'd employed a garden babysitter (okay, okay- it was Grandfather..) as my co-gardener was on the trip too, so I knew that the plants would at least be watered and hopefully wouldn't be a shriveled mess when I got home.
Things weren't in too bad a shape, although the weeds had appeared in a few too many places for my liking, so this afternoon was spent removing the enemy pigweed and grass. It was also sad to find some more black spots in my capsicum and although (on obviously bad advice) that fruit fly would be gone by now, they are still making their presence known. I haven't had even ONE capsicum escape their wrath, so I decided it was time that they felt mine.
When googling around, there is plenty of advice on making fruit fly traps, so I decided to do a couple of different recipes to compare. Rhonda from the bloody awesome 'Down to Earth' Blog has some hints and I ended up using two different versions- one from ehow.com and one from Aussie's living Simply forum.
I did make some minor adjustments because the version from Aussies living Simply calls for one cup of urine! Ha ha ha, ok so maybe I'm immature but seriously?! I assure you that I'm committed to the cause, however I'm not yet desperate enough to wee in the bottle and do a little mixture up. I think I would dry heave every time I looked at it- can you imagine wee sitting in a bottle in the sun? Would be garden smell like the cement in the Valley early on Sunday morning? I simply could not bring myself to do it so replaced with something else acidic- some vinegar. If I was a fruit fly- I think I would prefer vinegar to wee anyway.
This one has some vegemite, baker's yeast, vinegar (to replace the wee), brown sugar and some water..
This one has some apple cider, old fruit skin, a few drops of detergent and some water. It looks a little bit like wee but it's not. Has anyone else used urine fighting the good fight against the fly?
The sweet potato are in their/it's (I'm not sure if it's singular or plural) element and are sending shoots out everywhere.
I'm still not sure when to harvest though, I'll have to ask the market garden man when I see him next. I wonder if he will have any more cracking jokes. Last time, I heard a lady ask if he'd seen any dill and he said - yes, I'm looking at it. Ha ha, a bit rude but also a character, some people don't know what to say, but it was lucky this lady laughed and took it in good humour, but I have seen some people a little bit perplexed.
The bean plants are still prolific, but the leaves have turned a little yellow. Not sure what is going on there, but I suspect it might have something to do with this guy and his little friends. I've been spotting them around a bit.
I've also seen the first of my strawberry crop! They are cute as can be, red ripe and delish! I had to sample one or two for quality control purposes and they were delightful. Even better than the pick your own strawberries that I've had on the way home from the Sunshine coast. Red and beautiful.
Something else that is red and is very cool are my amazingly great new gumboots. I'm actually in love with them. I got them on my trip away, and I will admit that I did try them on both in the car on the way home and wore them around for a little bit (okay, at least an hour) last night! Hilarious. Maybe I'm slightly ridiculous but I couldn't help myself.
There is one slight problem though ... I can't actually get them off by myself so both times I have had to get assistance in the matter. Ha ha - picture me at some weird truck stop (more about that in a minute) with my legs sticking out of the car and mum yanking on the boots to get them off. Repeat same scenario when I got home. You would think the addition of the zip up the back could help in this situation, but it turns out the zip doesn't go down all the way to the bottom, so really isn't any use at all. (Note: I'm still in love with them)
Although it could be quite hot and impractical at times, I secretly don't mind if I do get stuck in them because they are so fabulous I'll be happy to wear them at all times. People in The Sticks don't know about the gumboot trend, so they may think I'm a little odd, or they may just think I'm a serious primary producer or something of the sort (and they would be right). It's probably not even too bad if I wear them down the street to the post office, or to the supermarket (ugh- can't we get some cool unsupermarket like shops?!) which regrettably, is the central meeting point for every single person that ever existed in this town.
We were travelling home yesterday, with my gumboots in tow, and stopped at the one of the weirdest place/truckstop thingames I've ever been into. I'm not kidding when I say they simply have not refurbed since the 1960's. I really did not feel real when I was there, and to make matters even more surreal, there was a little hippy market on in the carpark selling things from probably that same era.
Of course the menu was extensive and included every type of fried chicken, hot box offering and burger you can imagine. Seeing I was starving, we weren't stopping anywhere else and still had four hours to drive, and it was a Sunday, I relented- put back my packet of chips and ordered a chicken burger. It's been a while since I've had a Sunday night shocker (secretly and crassly called Sunday night shitter if I'm being honest) and a chicken burger fits the bill perfectly- in fact a chicken burger was the catalyst for the creation of the SNS.
I can't even believe how bad it looks, and the first bite revealed that (not surprisingly) it really was pretty bad. To the credit of the weird service station place, it was breast fillet that had been crumbed, so wasn't completely appalling - however the mayo was that stock standard packet crap and was slopped on and the crumbing was just weird. Perfecto example of the SNS.
Although it is bad to eat things like this, sometimes it is also good, because it reminds me of how bad food really can be, and how lucky I am not to eat these weird things all the time.
That being said, I'm off to whip up a green bean salad to have with some home made pizzas. I may or may not put on my gumboots and head out to the garden with a torch to check the progress of the traps. Tally ho!