this morning i watched my neighbor unpack her shipping container. i was glad she managed to hire two movers to help her because she had a lot of stuff, some of which looked very heavy.
i stopped by the cafe on my way to belmont this morning to adjust the parking lot facing eufy webcam which for some reason had been turned so i couldn't see much of the parking lot anymore. i was surprised to find my mother there, who was helping out my sister. someone had yanked on the power cord of the webcam, that's why it was misaligned. i climbed up a ladder and readjusted it. i also brought down the bug zapper, which didn't seem to be working anymore. it needed cleaning, and probably the fluorescent UV bulbs needed to be replaced. i also placed a mealybug-infested orchid in my mother's car, so it could be taken home for neem oil treatment.
when i arrived in belmont my father made some wonton soup for lunch. my mother soon came home afterwards once it wasn't so busy at the cafe.
in the afternoon we tried one of the horned melons after my mother - who was watching chinese travelogue videos on youtube - saw someone eating one. it seemed too hard to cut, but my father was able to put a knife through it with a melon-like crispy crunch. inside was filled with cucumber seeds surrounded by green jelly. i scooped out a spoonful of seeds, it tasted juicy but sour, with a cucumber taste. once i added some sugar, it tasted like a slightly sweet raw banana. it wasn't that good, but it was nice to give it a try.
something i noticed about the bitter melons: a few of them seem to be growing pale. they don't seem stunted, maybe they'll turn green eventually. there are actually white bitter melon varieties, as most taiwanese bitter melons are of the pale variety.
the two hydrangea cuttings are doing well in that they haven't died yet. i have them tented in the sunroom but they're not getting any sun, i wonder if that's a good thing. chinese asters continue to blossom. all the ones we have seem to be deep pink. they sort of remind me of dahlias, but from a distance they resemble roses because of their colors. i think it'd be cool if there were some purples and whites. the long beans in RB0 have started to make some flowers, hopefully we can get some long beans out of them as well. hyacinth beans have also started making flower stalks.
most of the squash action is on the western beds, where our 2 vertical squash vines have produced 2 squashes each. the western bed squash has a very unique shape, a completely flat top, unlike some of our other squashes where they have a taper on the top and bottom. the biggest squash we seem to have so far is a hanging squash in RB1. i tied the stem to give it some support, so the weight of the squash won't pulling the whole vine down. while inspecting the squash plants, i saw a vine with some possible vine borer damage. injected it with a few ml of Btk borer killer.
in other gardening news: the patch of crabgrass-filled lawn underneath the maple tree that we weeded and seeded nearly 2 weeks ago have started to grow new grass. the hops trellis continue to grow, albeit slowly, but at the same time no diseases or critter damage. hop cones form in august, sometimes not until the fall, so maybe we still might see a few flowers this season but i wouldn't be surprised if we didn't. our japanese red mustards are making flowers and immature seed pods, trying to figure out what time to harvest the seeds (wait too long they might release on their own).
we harvested a bunch of vegetables, including a dozen long beans. we were surprised we had so many, with more to come in a few more weeks. we didn't harvest any bitter melons though. earlier in the week my parents picked 2 large ones and gave them away to my aunt & uncle when matthew came to the cafe with a large zucchini the size of my lower leg. all current bitter melons are still too small to harvest. we also harvested a bunch of cherry tomatoes, a few cloudy day tomatoes, ground cherries, fat cucumbers, and a pingtung taiwanese eggplant.
my father grilled some swordfish steaks outside on a skillet using the barbecue's secondary burner as to not make a mess indoors. we cut them up into small pieces, they were pretty good, some slight crunchiness on the skin, good flavor, perfect amount of saltiness, not fishy. i also trimmed some small garlics that've been hanging in the kitchen. we ate them raw, very crunchy but not very spicy.
i returned home with a packet of new neosporin i'd ordered. my mother gave me a stick of original neosporin last week that i'm going to return. the one that i got also has pain relief. it's due to expire on 4/2023. my previously tube expired on 2/2007, more than 14 years ago. i promptly tossed the old tube.