This week has included lots of tilling up garden beds (see “Rocky’s Guide to Preparing a New Veggie Bed in Compacted, Rocky Soil”) and planting the stuff I want but do not have. Today, a couple of Thai’s ran across the garden on their way to go harvest wild bamboo shoots and I tagged along so I could learn how.

I’d uncovered a kale plant to see if it wouldn’t get chewed down to the soil and discovering that it didn’t, unveiled the rest of the garden. The grasshopper plague seems to have passed over for this year.

Bed #2 has been given trellises and string beans. I planted far more than I could possibly eat but I can give away some, ferment what I don’t and toss the vines into the compost pile when they are done. I consider these to be a “biomass crop”.

Bed 3 has: daikon radishes, carrots with lettuce to mark the row, cilantro with pak chai to mark the row and some beets.

Bed 4 has a few tomato seedling from my mostly failed attempt at “melon pits”(See “The Survival Gardener” at the bottom of this article) and the rest was planted just today with bell peppers. I sowed a row of pak chai under the trellises as a “relay crop”. These are also a “biomass crop” for the compost pile.

An old lady I chatted with a bit in her garden told me that its been tough gardening recently because “when it rains, it rains too much and when it doesn’t the sun is too fierce”. I don’t seem to be having too many problems so far, especially now that the grasshoppers are gone (knock on wood).

A Thai couple came across the garden on their way to harvest bamboo shoots and didnt mind me tagging along to study their ways. Good thing we all speak Chinese or we would have been forced to communicate through grunts and hand gestures! It was slim pickin’s and they only got one. I however, got a valuable lesson as to which shoots are ready for harvest and consumption.

More tilling to come. Next on the list of to do’s is to get some cabbage planted for my years supply of sauerkraut.



The Survival Gardener: