Saturday, May 28, 2011

Snake Rescue

I believe when last we spoke I promised more news of the garden.

Some of our little vegetable offspring are doing quite nicely and others not so much.  As any parents, the blame for the failures is entirely our own, the credit for the successes, not.

My radishes are little prodigies.  They are growing quite big and lovely.  Of course, any 5-year-old can grow radishes, but we seem to have struggled with them in the past.  I think the bugs usually get to them before us.  I'm not sure what I've done differently this year, but they are producing very well and it's always inspiring to get some early harvests; keeps you motivated to see the other stuff through to fruition.  (Or maybe vegition?)

The radishes are actually lucky to be around, sort of an afterthought to some other planting.  I earlier this spring built a couple of 3 x 5 planters to grow my hops.  Since the hops really weren't going to take up much room, I planted a boat load of peppers around the periphery of the planters; Anaheim, Habanero, Jalapeno, Bell, Ancho, Thai, Caribbean Ghost maybe and probably a few others for good measure.  Threw in a couple tomatillos as well.

After all of the above I figured there was still wasted space in the planters, at least until the peppers and hops start to expand, so I interspersed some radishes and beets between all the other plants.  The radishes have seized the opportunity and made the most of it.  The beets are coming along.

Lately a bunch of volunteer squash are making a go of it in my new planters. I think they may have sprouted from pumpkin seeds that survived a trip through the composter. They are starting to compete with the peppers, for which they had better watch their asses or they will be culled.

We have had a few other successes; the artichoke is going crazy and we are still pulling cabbages out of the garden.  My rhubarb is doing well, but I'll have to update that progress in the Gumbilist.

Most of our produce continues to come from the CSA.  And I continue to lack any real will to cook, but managed to throw together on meal composed entirely of CSA produce, complete down to the canned CSA mini-corn.  I guess the brown rice did not come from the CSA and the Sriracha was definitely from the grocery store, but for the most part it's all locally grown.

The result was not fabulous, but the ingredients certainly looked beautiful.  The cast included some baby carrots, spring onions, young celery, broccoli, masses of fresh cilantro, some scallions (actually from our garden) and the aforementioned can of mini corn.  Maybe a stray bug or two, this is organic after all.


Also from the CSA, organic produce conveniently repackaged into the form of a brisket.  I used a brisket from our recent purchase to brine up a homemade corned beef.  Very nice!  Sadly, I ate it so fast that the only photographic evidence is the corned-beef hash I made with some of the leftover scraps.


In other news, Jacob is home from Humboldt for summer, so I immediately put him to work on the retaining wall project.  We spent most of the first day of our Memorial Day weekend wrestling ties around, but the progress is definitely better with an able-bodied assistant.

Later in the afternoon, we returned to working in the garden, this time unfortunately to rescue a trapped snake.  We have covered our fruit trees with this idiotic netting that's sold in Home Depot to keep the birds from stealing all our fruit.  What the netting really excels at is capturing lizards and snakes.  Within a week of installing the stuff about a half dozen lizards were trapped and killed in the stuff.  This pisses me off, because I like lizards.  Lizards eat bugs.  Bugs eat my garden.  More lizards is better.

These critters slide though the netting, get stuck and can't back out because the fine threads of the netting gets caught in their scales.  Anyway, today I was walking past the apricot tree and saw what I thought was a dead snake.  On closer inspection, it turned out to be a very nice rosy boa and was actually still moving.  It was the desiccated lizard trapped with the snake that  fooled me into thinking the snake was dead.

I like snakes.  Snakes eat rodents.  Rodents eat my...well, tent actually.  I recently pulled my tent out of the garage to loan to the Pims and discovered that some little rodent had chewed a hole through the thing.

Anyway, I went into action like some action hero, Indiana Jones maybe.  Well no, he hates snakes.  But you get the idea.






Holding his head while Jake makes the final cut.

Unfortunately, Denise did not get a shot of the happy snake slithering off into the distance.  She also did not get pictures of him biting the hand that freed him.  I'm sure he hopes to return the favor one day.

2 Comments:

Blogger BJackie said...

I got major willies looking at those pictures. Egad.

Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes.

May 29, 2011 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Hanten said...

Man, I shouldn't drink and post. Re-reading this afternoon I found about a half a dozen typos.

May 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM  

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