>equinox

>Happy equinox! It occurs to me that as I was growing up in Nairobi, just shy of the equator, we lived in perpetual equinox — sun up at 630, sun down at 630. Going to NY in the summer, where the sun was up until 9, it seemed bizarre, almost miraculous, to have such long days.
In the greenhouse, the seedlings are maturing. We have hundreds of little black bags with young plants in them. Our corn, bean, and sweetpea seedlings were being decimated for a few weeks, and we finally found the culprit — a small, green grasshoppery bug that is soft and satisfying to squish between my finger and thumb. two vegetable beds are fully inhabited by lettuce and brassicas. i like mel bartholomew’s square foot gardening method, although it is slightly at odds with my desire to avoid straight lines in the garden. i guess i like the neat and tidy appearance of the grid, and it makes it easy to figure out plant spacing. plus, i like planting things in little clusters rather than in rows. rows don’t really agree with me.
baki and i will head up to istanbul for a week for his birthday. we blast off next tuesday, so i am trying to get as much transplanting done as i can before we go. that way, when we come back, we can see how things have adjusted. last year, everything was pretty much devoured before it could get too big — big grasshoppers did that. this year, we are using shade netting to protect the seedlings. when i tried it last fall, the seedlings matured with more or less no incident and then we removed the netting. we may keep it on this spring, since it is going to get pretty hot soon. we’ll see. we are still in the trial and error days, although having said that i cannot imagine them ever being over. i guess that is the beauty of being here. mess up, do it again a little differently, repeat as necessary.

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