Where are the pollinators?

I have plenty of flowers in my raised beds. The pepper plants, melons, cucumbers and tomatoes are all blooming but many blooms don’t become fruit.

Over the winter the wild mallow was full of bees, but now I barely see them. Where are the pollinators?

Vegan Yellow Squash Lasagna

I start by making a big batch of cashew vegan cheese. Soaking the cashews overnight with multiple drain/rinse/add fresh water cycles gives it a milder flavor that I prefer. 4 cups of soaked cashews with a cup of water and 1/4 cup of lemon juice blended smooth. You can salt and pepper if you like or spice it up. It’ll be creamy and heavy, giving weight to the lasagna.

I sautee onions with garlic, ginger and cilantro in olive oil, then add diced red and green peppers. I used all six of my yellow squash. Cut up and added to the sautee on high heat. A little water, salt and aminos for moisture. When they cook down and soften a bit, I put in the spaghetti sauce and spinach. If I’d had a bag of vegan crumbles on hand, I’d have dumped them in too. Lower heat and stir until well cooked and combined.

Organic lasagna noodles al dente, as I don’t want them to fall apart and they will finish during the bake. I layer the noodles first, then the red filling and a layer of the vegan cheese. The repeat. In this case, I cut a block of firm tofu as it’s own layer. Topped with red filling and sprinkled with vegan parm. Bake for an hour or the top slightly browned.

Adding Poo

Added this week’s bags of pet waste to the bokashi bucket. Smell was a yikes. I got ph test strips but the smell got in my mouth and I couldn’t take it anymore. I’ll try to test it next time. Apparently, the ph is the best indicator of the pickling and fermentation processes, not the smell or surface fungus.



It was pretty gross

I buried a bucket of pickled dog poo yesterday. It was pretty gross.

I dug a deeper trench this time. I had plenty of dirt to mix in. The bucket had been pickling for several weeks longer than strictly needed, so there’s no real danger of toxins remaining in the waste. I have designated this barren stretch of our landscape perimeter for the bokashi poo experiments. The bokashi composting is supposed to be one of the most efficient methods of returning energy to the local soil. I’m looking forward to see if I can get some wildflowers or something to grow there this summer.

In the meantime it’s nice to know that I’m not putting more dog poo in the landfill to off gas methane forever.


Thing are really growing

Looking back at the garden update post from early April, the change is pretty amazing. I need to remember how much the growth explodes in these few weeks. The yellow squash and sunflowers stand out as thriving. The Nasturtiums have also done well. The tomato plants really are growing and starting to bear green fruit. No peppers yet, but I do see blooms on the pepper plants. It’s surprising to me a little that the okra and melons haven’t done better, since they are also warm weather adapted. Maybe they will take off as it gets even hotter in June.

I am watering once a week for 4 hours. This might be too long, but I’ve read that fewer, deeper waterings are better.

The wildflower meadow is starting to bloom. The early buckwheat, which I seeded as a ground cover and soil amendment bloomed lots of tiny white flowers a few weeks ago, but is now showing signs of distress from the heat.

The beets really haven’t grown at all. The carrot tops look like carrots, but the roots are inconsequential. A few radishes have grown, but I guess this season isn’t best for the root veggies. I’ll try them again in the fall, maybe more spread out. Possibly I’ll do all the root veggies in the potato trench that I dug but never planted or filled.

Digging a Bokashi poo trench

I need a place to put the bokashi poo. Previously I buried some here in a series of small ditches. You can see variations in soil color where the poo was buried before. This time I’m thinking to dig a full trench. First, the volume of poop was hard to accommodate with ditches. Some poo ended up near the top. With a trench I’ll have more space to bury the poo.


Recent history of the pile

I take a photo of the pile thermometer every morning. It helps me understand what’s happening in there over time. I move the pile every weekend. Literally pitchfork it from one place to the next. That’s when I give it a good watering too. I aerate the pile an addition once or twice a week.

As I have described before, the pile is made exclusively from landscape weeds and cardboard. I cut and chop it all by hand, then soak thoroughly in water before adding to the pile. I add new material every day or two, mixing it in and adding a bit of the local dirt.

I had an amazing week of 150F temps early in the month. I feel like I should have let it cook longer. But I moved it on schedule and haven’t been able to get back there. I’ve been hovering around 100F for a bit and I really don’t know what it is.

Micro Zucchini

The yellow squash plant is really doing well. Directly planted in a little hill in the corner of the box it has thrived. Today I spotted the first little squash starting to form.


What did I even do today

Mueller report day and I feel like I haven’t done a thing.

I did work on remaking the ISSUU PDFs of the CancerGram zines while listening to the news. Didn’t I do some weeding? And I put the wet greens in the pile. I remember I cooked early. Called mom about noon to talk politics. Sent her a bunch of garden pictures. No dog walk. Talked with Wyatt for awhile and the day slipped away. Finished up the zines, ate dinner, spent some time with old man, watched some hockey and basketball. That’s it.

Below are the spiral supports for the tomato plants. The spiral jetty drip system is hopefully a new wildflower meadow. All the little white blooms are the buckwheat ground cover in the first wildflower meadow. The yellow bloom should turn into a zucchini.

New Growth

We worried that the new tree was dying all winter as the green dried up and fell off. Then spring came and we remembered green does better in the warmth.