Pretty Damn Well!
I planted the Monday of the new moon. I like to grow with the new moon for its witchyness and tradition.
Cabbage moths demolish lettuce, kale, broccoli rabe, and chard. I put the row cover on immediately after planting. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough material for the whole garden.
The squash and cucumbers will have to be de-bugged by hand. But it’s easier than trying to dig cabbage moth larvae out of the center of lettuces.
The luxury of installing a row cover reminded me of growing clay beans in Mexico.
We bought a bagfull of beans you could eat as pods, and they were delicious as dried beans. They tasted like clay; things that taste like the earth are comforting when you’re a farmer.
We planted about a quarter of an acre. They were doing well; we had several meals of Marion Cunnihagm’s simple, satisfying Green beans and Potatoes. Providing anything for ourselves was a significant accomplishment. Everything you grow yourself tastes better– even when it doesn’t. I think your heart grows tastes buds when you’re a farmer.
One day, I picked clay beans. To my horror, I found they were inundated with aphids. Not, just a few. The plants were coated with them. They had their rotten armored friends, the ants, backing them up. I’m sorry, but I hate ants. Ants and Termites are the bain of my existence in Nicaragua.
Within two days, my vision of dry beans put away for winter faded. I rescued what I could of the green pods and tried to avoid the bean plot.
But a few days later I walked by, and the plants looked perkier; I stepped into the bed to investigate and saw hundreds of little speckled alligator larvae. Lady bugs!
I knew what they were because I had murdered a congregation of them in Chicago when they showed up on my hibiscus plant to eat the aphids that infested it.
I thought the plant was weak and overrun, but nature was coming to the rescue. I sprayed tobacco juice on baby ladybugs. I was heartbroken when I realized my error years later; I mourned them.
When I saw my beans covered in a brigade of ladybug larvae, I fell to the ground and cried. I’m not exaggerating, and I also am not a drama queen. Farming will do this, destroy you, and burst your heart.
The ladybugs didn’t win, but they helped. We had enough dried clay beans for the year for the two of us. Farming will do this too, make it ok to have just enough and to share with nature, even if it’s aphids and ants.
Does anyone care to share gardening sorrow, victory, or both? Your stories inspire me.
I’ve been a pro-writer for over a week now. It’s awesome! The company is excellent, and I love my editor. This new world of working online is perfect for me. You can check out what I’m doing over there if you’re interested. You can click here to see my writer bio, and if you scroll to the bottom, there’s a list of my articles. Let me know what you think of the headshot…some like it, others (me) not so much.
A touching and wide-ranging garden vignette! I have had my present garden for five years now. In past years I have been afflicted with nasty aphid attacks. One recent year I seeded the garden with a bag of hungry ladybugs. This year they’re EVERYWHERE! – I find them while pruning and examining heartbreaking snail damage! No aphids this year!
Those little white moths are a precursor of marauding munchers…
Hi Stan! What a wonderful image, seeding the garden with Ladybugs! We are pretty inundated, just crossing my fingers. I’ll look for pics of your harvests in intsta!
I love the blog and your information. You are definitely an interesting and informed writer.
Thanks for your supportive words Margie, I love seeing you here xoxoxo A