i spent the day in belmont working in the backyard despite the intermittent drizzle. when i arrived i found my father in the front yard digging out a trench to plant some transplanted foxgloves. we collected some stray ones from around the backyard but then pulled a big clump from raised bed 3 (RB3).

speaking of RB3, i dug out all the perennials - foxgloves and rudbeckias - and redistributed within the same bed because they were growing too close together. there wasn't enough soil so i had to pull some from the pile that i created when i redug the bamboo trench a few weeks ago. that's good soil but there are dead bamboo roots and rocks, so it had to pick them out first.

the tent stove was still out, my father firing it back up for the second day in a row. that combination of wood smoke combined with the miserable wet weather reminded me of being in western sichuan. that's the smell and the sensation of that part of china. we checked the weather forecast, had to move the stove later when the heavier rains arrive in the early evening.

elsewhere, we organized the hops bines, picking out 5 tendrils to climb the 5 twines. there were a few white shoots that i snipped off before i realized they were actually the real bines: these weren't purple, didn't have spines, and weren't hollow. i managed to save 2 of these new shoots. hopefully enough will emerge that i can cut the early bull shoots, since apparently they're not as productive as these newer shoots. to protect the hops from animals, we put a cage around the plant and later i laid down a mulch bed of straw.

we also did the following:

  • split apart the chinese celery clumps. we still had some seedlings in starter trays and my father planted them near the raspberries.
  • remove the chicken wire cages from the peas and put them over the daikon radishes.
  • put plastic cup collars around the peas to prevent rabbits from eating them.
  • i removed the plants (lunarias and spiderworts) around the base of the flowering cherry.
  • i dug out some encroaching spiderworts from the southern bed. i tried to replant them but i just had too many and had to throw out the rest.
  • the rain barrels are down to less than a half of rain water for each container. hopefully the rain tonight will replenish it all. we have so many rain barrels that as long as it rains periodically, we never run out of water for the garden (watering the lawn from the rain barrel is a different story).
  • i dug out some encroaching spiderworts from the southern bed. i tried to replant them but i just had too many and had to throw out the rest.

my sister dropped off hailey in the afternoon. we checked out the rabbit nest again, the bunnies are still alive. they look more like kittens than bunnies, and judging by the fact that their eyes are still closed (but they do have fur), i'd say they're two weeks old. is the mother rabbit even coming back to feed them? the fact that they're still alive means something's caring for them.

i came inside briefly in the afternoon during a brief drizzle to eat some lunch. my father reheated the double fried chicken we had from last night.

the last thing i did - around 5pm - was to go back out armed with a large umbrella and do one last survey of the backyard with my camera.

my father decided we'd order from cafe vanak for dinner tonight. i used their handy online ordering (they use grubhub's seamless), went to go pick it up by around 5:50pm. i ordered the beef koobideh, my father got the drill rice with lamb shank.

it was pretty good, the rice portion was crazy. my father liked their rice better compared to sabzi, which was always hard and gave me the burps for some reason. the lamb shank was very tender and even came with a small container of lamb drippings, which i used to flavor my own rice. their beef koobideh included more grilled vegetables: tomato, onion, pepper. although it didn't have the sour red cabbage, and neither did they provide any sumac powder, two of my favorite things with sabzi. the dill rice was something new but had a nice flavor. neither my father nor i could finish, and my father combined the leftovers and gave them all to me. i also got the sour cherry nectar, which was pretty food.

after dinner my father and i assembled one of our LiFePo4 battery 4-pack into a working battery by wiring the cells in series and attaching a BMS. previously my father had naturally balanced the cells by connecting them in parallel and allowing the electricity to flow. while attaching the balancing wires, my father dropped one of the nuts in between two battery terminals and sparks shot out of the battery until my father was able to flick off the nut. we measured the cells and the two affected had lost some charge, so we wired them back in parallel again so they can naturally balance, before wiring them in series with a BMS. the second time around we were much more careful and got the battery working. we tried to naturally balance the other 4-pack of batteries but it's currently missing a M6x20mm set screw so we need to wait until it arrives later this week before we can activate those batteries as well.

i'd planned on biking home but the rain had started. according to the radar it would end, but it looked like i'd need to wait another 40 minutes at least, until after 8pm. so i puy my bike in the garage and my father gave me a ride back to cambridge.

when i got back home, that's when i saw that our newly fixed porch gutter wasn't fixed at all and that it was just dripping a stream of water from the corner. it might be something i could caulk if i can get the ladder to extend that high. the gutter in our alleyway was also leaking a little bit, but the one in renee's alley seemed to be okay.