i woke up this morning and headed straight to the community garden to water my plants. i didn't water yesterday, and with the temperature today likely to hit the 90's, it was the least i could do. not only did i water my plot, but also EJ's plot because her plants looked a bit wilty. i then moved onto renee's plot, and when i saw nearby annemarie's plot looking a bit dry, i watered some of her plants too. i was in the garden for nearby half an hour before finally returning home and taking a shower.
before i left, i noticed there was a sale on drumsticks at star market (87¢/lbs.), so i made a quick visit to get some. when i went to go pay at the self checkout line however, it didn't ring up the sale price, so i had to wait for assistance. during the time i was waiting, i realized i didn't add the coupon into my account, so i managed to do that. after 5 minutes of waiting and nobody to assist me, i jumped to a different checkout kiosk and checked out there. i paid just $9 for 10 lbs. worth of drumsticks.
when i arrived at my parents' place, my mother pan-fried some mini wontons for lunch. because the drumsticks seemed rather large, my father deboned them for outdoor frying later. even though it's almost july, i started 4 purple serrano pepper seeds and 4 pingtung taiwanese eggplant seeds. i used the wet paper towel method so i can make sure the seeds are germinating instead of planting them in potting mix and hoping for the best.
my sister came by to drop off hailey and take my mother to her godmother's place to have lunch. my mother's primary reason was also to pay my sister's godmother for the 8 saturdays she came to help out at the cafe when my mother was on vacation in taiwan. my mother didn't return until 3pm.
even though it was super hot today, my father set up his stainless steel tent stove in the backyard. he moved it away from the neighbor's this time, but almost underneath the maple tree, where the hot smoke might singe the leaves. nevertheless, it still got really smokey whenever he fed the stove with new wood, especially freshly cut wood that hasn't dried completely yet, as well as unwanted bamboo segments, and i'm sure the wood smoke managed to get into some neighbors' houses.
i brought in all the shoes i treated with the revivex odor eliminator solution. most of them smelled neutral, but the ultimate test is to wear them for a while and see if the shoe stink persists afterwards. if it doesn't work, the next step would to spray it again, but this time with all the laces removed for maximum air drying.
my father also finally installed the AC today, the floor unit in the living room and the window unit in my parents' bedroom. i'm still a heatwave away from putting in my window AC unit, although i shouldn't torture myself too much, no risk putting it in early just to have it ready instead of dripping sweat during a heatwave trying to install it.
despite the hot weather, i was still outside in the backyard doing yardwork, wearing pants no less. to be honest, it didn't feel that hot, or at least it felt like a dry heat, even though the humidity was also very high. i sprayed some pot plants with neem oil when needed. i put protected plastic bottle sleeves around some new hyacinth bean seedlings that emerged in RB3. i planted a few more hyacinth beans in RB0, to replace the one hyacinth bean that was killed by a rabbit. i inspected the squash vines and removed any borer eggs. my father and i trimmed the tips of our climbing squash to promote side shoots, which will bear the actual squashes. we also put up cages around the remaining patch of intact long bean seedlings in RB4, to prevent rabbits from eating them like they did with the other long bean seedlings.
but the biggest thing i did today was to pull up all my garlics. the rule is to pull them up once 4 bottom leaves have completely yellowed. most of my garlics had 3 shriveled brown leaves and a 4th one that was partially yellow. i pulled up a few just to see how they were, and then decided to pull up the rest. normally i don't pull them out until mid-july, but we need the additional spaces in the raised beds to plant our crop of squash seedlings waiting to be transplanted.
i had my mother come out and help me pull out what i thought would be the largest garlics (elephant variety that my 2nd aunt bought from an organic farmstand in boston market), but they turned out just regular size, maybe even smaller, so it was underwhelming. elephant garlics are white, while the ones i've been growing for the past 4 years are the korean red garlics. definitely larger than last season (when i used a single raised bed to grow them), but i'm still not entirely happy with their sizes. we had some really great looking tops, but the bottoms were kind of meh, or at least it didn't match the abundantly leafy top-growth.
i think it was all the nitrogen from the chicken manure we put into the beds, makes for leafy greens, but not so great for root vegetables, like how we didn't get any daikon radishes this year, but had a banner crop of leafy radish greens. so i'm still working on raising the perfect garlics, which means i'll grow them again come fall - season 5. i ended up tying the garlics in bundles and putting them in the cool basement grow room to dry and cure. maybe i didn't fertilize them enough during the spring. i fertilized just once with some blood meal, but they didn't really dissolve, so i figured i didn't have to fertilize anymore after that.
some other random garden observations: the zucchini seedlings that we planted in RB3 last weekend? one of them has already sprouted. i have enough zucchini seeds that we may think about sprouting them in the just-cleared garlic beds at the ends of the raised beds; i saw some rabbit fur on the lawn. when i poked it with a stick, there was something hard and soft in it, like maybe a piece of bone stuck to some flesh. a dead rabbit is a good rabbit is what i say. what could've eaten it? if it's at night, the only thing i can think of is maybe an owl. makes we want to invest in an owl nesting box, it'd be awesome if an owl could live in our backyard and patrol the property for rabbits. honestly, i didn't see any rabbits today (not even out in the front yard, where they usually congregate fearlessly), so i wonder if an owl has indeed found a home in the neighborhood; are blue beans good eating? because in lieu of long beans - which rabbits seem to love to eat - we have a few blue beans which seem to growing very well, partly because we planted them early, and partly because they're naturally fast growers. there's already some big fat flat bean pods; i cast some grass seeds in a few backyard bare patches, i figured with the rain tomorrow it'll water the seeds for me.
for dinner my father pan-fried a quarter of the chicken drumstick meat in a pan on his tent stove. last time he did that he made sure to cover everything with newspapers and paper towels; this time he didn't and the oil splattered everywhere onto the stainless steel. it took a while to sear properly, and even when he brought it inside, my mother said there were still raw parts in the thicker centers so she only ate the smaller pieces.
i returned home afterwards. rain is finally expected tomorrow, between 12-5pm. originally i didn't want to risk riding the motorcycle and getting caught in the rain, but looks like i'll manage to avoid the storm and get a free rain wash for the bike as well. hopefully it'll be enough rain to refill our barrels, which are empty again. today my father had to water from the spigot, which is something we rarely have to do when we have normal amounts of rain to replenish the rain barrels.
i took another covid test tonight, felt like i have a sore throat. i was hoping to see two lines but once again, it was just a single line which meant covid negative. i feel like i've been doing whatever i can to try and catch covid (i've stopped wearing a mask for almost 2 weeks now), while at the same time i'm beginning to see more neighbors suddenly wearing masks again. have they caught the coronavirus and wearing the mask because of self-imposed quarantine?
our 10A 2.1mm DC socket mounts arrived today. the advertisement said 20AWG, but the wires are actually 18 AWG (thicker, better) and there's 5 of them, not 4. my father's going to figure out how to wire them so they have a switch. we have plenty of lighted rocker switches, but he's also thinking about wiring it into our pre-existing USB/cigarette lighter panel. finally i ordered a container of stridex pad tonight. i haven't used stridex since my high school days, but i have this one persistent pimple on my nose that never seems to go away, and i want to use some medicated acne pads to hopefully cure it for good. my nose has a weird relationship with oily foods. without fail, every time i have a greasy hamburger with fries, i get a pimple on my nose the next day. i wonder if this persistent pimple is related to that.