composts

You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.
—  Chuck palahniuk, fight club.
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Pear Leaf Blister Mite

Like the horn-shaped galls on Linden leaves, these little orange and brown spots on a leaf host tiny mites, Eriophyes pyri.

They live in the leaves in summer, forming orange or red blisters on new foliage, which turn brown as the season progresses; the mites then migrate to the bark and buds over winter.

The don’t significantly impact the overall health or yield of the tree, unless the infestation is severe. After harvest, the tree can be treated with sulfur or oil sprays, or just left alone.

I pluck the leaves with the worst infestations off, and throw them in the compost. So far, the pest burden, pictured on my Williams and Buerre Hardy pear, is minimal.

i’m back from my vacation.

I’ve learned a lot from my first personal choice vacation in 10 years

1. Seattle is the bomb.com and so cheap and green and beautiful and they recycle and compost and so much more environmentally friendly. The actual residents of Seattle and surrounding areas are so much more kind than my California neighbors it actually makes me think there may be some good left in humanity as a whole.

2. Canada sucks major dick. praying hella hard to my lord and savior Marina Diamandis for ya’ll canadians ass bc your country is lame as fuck. also, ya’ll don’t have toilet seat covers. do you SERIOUSLY expect my ass to share a seat with a long distance trucker with irritable bowel syndrome? I THINK NOT. Ya’ll are NASTY. However, your government employees are exceptionally polite and friendly even when they gracefully ignore your native people.

3. I’m way better than my job and I need to strive for more in my life. I’ve re done my resume and got 2 professional letters of rec. I’m going to strive for WAY more than what I’m doing now.

4. I gotta enjoy the now. I’m always thinking about 1 year or 5 years ahead. I gotta enjoy the now and live it up in my apartment while I can still afford it. 

5. my bf watched my cat and apartment while I was gone and he cleaned the whole place and stocked my fridge and got my cat more litter. he is my literal diamond in the rough

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It’s change so gradual, you wouldn’t notice it if you saw it every day.

Here‘s an update from the shot of this area I took in December: the bee garden has developed, the strawberry snail is flourishing, and I’ve put in a number of trees and shrubs to form the canopy layer of the edible forest garden.

The conversion to forest soil is going very well, with successive sheet mulches converting the grass plane into soil bulk and nutrition.

I’ve said a number of times that my work “radiates out”: I start working in small spaces, stabilise a little ecosystem, and then expand out further into the grass plane, making sure I can maintain what I’ve built every step of the way. 

The progress is slow, but it’s solid.

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What really annoys us about ‘generic’ stores selling cacti/succulents: they don’t put them into the appropriate pots!

We repotted this one initially because there were a lot of pups around the side and they were really crowded within the pot and a lot were actually suffering from having the pot digging into them… So we took it out of its pot, removed the (absolutely shoddy) soil, and saw just how long its roots actually were. Needless to say, we had to dig around for one of our largest pots! It’s comfortable in this now and looks so, so much happier!
We’re aiming to illustrate here just how cramped that plant was - so glad we saved it!

Moral of the story: repot plants that you buy from stores; because you never really know how cramped the poor plants are! 

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Just a tip for other gardeners out there. You can go to Starbucks and ask for used coffee grounds and mix it in with garden soil to make good compost. (Grounds don’t have to be Starbucks coffee though, but hey they give it away for free so why not). Balance your compost with leaves, dried grass, and other organic materials and voilà!

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Roses around my garden, yesterday after the rain!

One thing that England doesn’t tend to have is a lot of space, so I have learned to make the most out of what we have, conduct my own weird gardening experiments – such as making my own compost tea, the almost-comical failure of the diy cinnamon “tip,” learning the gross and large rat kind of way what not to put into a compost heap – and accept that some plants will die for reasons beyond my control, while others will flourish beyond reason.

Too often people assign themselves these labels that they aren’t “good” with plants because their plants die or they conducted a weird experiment once and it went all wonky, but here is the truth: all gardeners kill things. All gardeners have both successful experiments and disgusting or bizarre misadventures. You just keep doing it if you find gardening remotely rewarding, because that’s what it’s all about.

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Compost 29 July 2011.  Here’s the compost bin again.  We collect the kitchen stuff in Nancy’s Yogurt tubs and then I take them out to the compost bin.  Nancy’s makes the best local yogurt.  It is owned by the Kesey family (yes, that guy, Ken Kesey the novelist).

Some critter has been pulling open the hatch on the bin and pulling stuff out looking for food, I guess. Probably a raccoon, or maybe a possum.  In the winter when I’ve gone out to turn the compost over with a pitchfork, I’ve found a large nest of mice running everywhere.  Nice warm winter quarters.  My neighbor Tom told me his cat, Punkin, would bring him mice overnight.  All lined up on his patio in the morning.