i swung by the community garden via motorcycle around 11am on my way to belmont. a sunny sunday morning, there were more than a dozen gardeners, more than usual. i met the gardener who inherited lynn's old plot diagonally across from me, an asian fellow named chris. he was there with his girlfriend, who wasn't as friendly and didn't introduce herself.
my father made scallion pancakes for lunch. i also had some sweet red bean soup. afterwards i went outside to do some yard work. first thing i did was plant some new cucumber seedlings. rabbits ate half of them before my father discovered what happened and put protection cup rings around them. this will put a slight delay in order cucumber crop as we wait about a week for the new seedlings to emerge. but it's still early in the growing season, so there's plenty of time to get some good cucumber plants.
my father was busy patching up bare spots on the lawn with his own concoction of topsoil mixed with grass seeds. he also showed me the spots on the sourwood that looked like they might be emerging buds. they're actually low on the trunk, and at first we thought it might not be sourwood, but rather just the original grafted root stock, but i think there was no grafting involved with this tree, that it was actually air layered so there's all sourwood.
we put some working into patching up the eastern fence. there are a few loose pickets and some pickets with sizable gaps at the bottom that's essentially entrances for rabbits. if we can somehow rabbit proof the backyard, it would go a long way into reducing the number of seedling deaths. we had a piece of an old fence that we didn't want, so we broke it down for parts, stripping off three pickets that looked to be in okay shape. after that was done, i took some time into cutting the right size of wire mesh and then stapled it to the bottom of the fence to close some additional gaps. later i went around the yard checking the perimeter for possible holes where rabbits might be digging in. actually, there was a small rabbit in the backyard all day, and when my sister came home with hailey, her dog actually chased it a few times but lost the rabbit in the thickets.
we dug up some bamboo stumps. back when we were cutting down the bamboos, my father decided to leave some stumps so we knew where to find the bamboos. in hindsight that turned out to be the wrong decision, and we should've cut the bamboo flush to the ground. what ended up happening is the stumps have become a real walking hazard, like teeth poking out of the ground. and now that they're dried up, they're as hard as rocks and impossible to remove. but i used a pruning saw to dig them out of the ground. i ended up ruining the tip of the saw, as i must've hit rocks at some point, and blunted the teeth. we did manage to finally dig up a few bamboo stumps, but there's more to remove.
when my father went inside to rest, i continued working outside, this time mixing a fungicide solution of 1 gallon water with 2 tbsp (1 oz) of bonide concentrated copper. the solution was actually quite beautiful, this lovely teal color, with no discernable odor. using a smaller cup, i poured it into a bottle sprayer and treated the grapevines, the cherry trees, the hawthorn, the peonies, and the maple. i'm sure i got some spray on my face and when i licked my lips later it tasted a little bitter.
the foxgloves are in bloom now, there is so much pink in the backyard. maybe there was a time when i would've been enamored with foxgloves, but we have so much now, i'm sort of jaded by them. some of the moonflowers and a few morning glories have also sprouted; i protected them with cup rings. likewise, nasturtiums have also germinated. 2 of the 5 dahlia flowers we planted have also broken through from the soil; hoping the rest of them will emerge soon as well.
li called me in the late afternoon, asked if i was at home. when i told him i wasn't, he said it wasn't important. when i pressed him about it, he said he wanted to use my washer and dryer. he had some personal matters he had to attend to, and was returning to china tomorrow, back in 3 weeks. this came as a shock; when we spoke yesterday he made no mention of it. he didn't say the reason why and i didn't ask, but i'm assuming it has something to do with his wife's mother, who's currently undergoing lymph node cancer treatment but their doctor already told them to prepare themselves for the possibility that her condition may be terminal.
my father was outside grilling a few things for dinner. but the delicious smell was coming from our backyard neighbor, who was grilling with some hardwood charcoal that had an intoxicating scent. makes me want to dig up that old weber grill from my basement just so i can use hardwood charcoal to grill some food. maybe that's something i do this summer when GC arrives in 2 weeks.
the star market hot italian sausages were okay, but weren't as good as the market basket sweet italian sausages with fennel. these italians seem to have a lower sugar content, so the skin doesn't get as crispy as the sweet fennel sausages.
today we had the highest production this month thus far at 48.14 kWh, even with intermitten wispy cloud cover at times. ever since last monday, the production has gotten higher every single day, which is a good thing. the past 3 days have all been 40kWh+ days.