Friday, July 03, 2015

Planting and Plants and Bugs

Like I said the other day, I've been in high gear planting mode. I am so late with my garden this year. Our tiller was broken and by the time it was fixed, it wasn't strong enough to go through all the weeds. I got a local guy with a tractor with big old attached tiller on the back and now my garden is ready to rock and roll. Here's what it looks like - pristine brown soil.

Yesterday I moved a large pile of manure which was last year's birthday gift to me from The Farmer. It has been sitting in the middle of the lawn for months. Bucket by bucket, it is slowly going away and moving into the garden. 

I made some manure stripes down the soil and tonight I will continue the planting. Always thinking about patterns!

The manure was full of gray grubs which I picked out and fed to the chickens. They were overjoyed with the delicious snacks I gave them - if chickens could be happy, these would have been shouting for joy. Here is a little video - not for the squeamish. 

I know it is gross but I find things like this pretty interesting - and for a woman who is way past 5 decades that is a good thing. I did a little research and in deed the grubs were Japanese beetle grubs. Here's an up close of them squirming. I think it could be some kind of textile pattern too. I know my neighbor Alicia could do a killer painting off of this photo. 

I surmised that they were Japanese Beetle grubs because I found 2 beetles that hadn't emerged yet from pile to fly around. 

The beetles on the backside look similar to the grubs. 

If you want to learn more about the lifecycle of a Japanese beetle, I found this article from Cornell really interesting. There is a quite beautiful illustration too of the life cycle which I have shared below. 

Illustration by K. English, NYS IPM via web link above from Cornell

I'm sure I'll lose some readers over this post but oh well. Sometimes I find the most interesting things when I am going about my daily repetitive life. It is so awesome to have a space like this blog to share things I find fascinating with you all. Just so you know - the grubs were towards the top of the manure - probably getting ready to emerge. Down below the pile is where all the worms are - I call them red wrigglers - they are very thin and not very long. The compost is very wet where they work it. I guess that is another blog post. 

There are over 300 sheep here in front of the house. Shearing is Monday, after being delayed twice because of the vast amounts of rain we have been getting. I really hope they stay out of my garden. There is temporary fencing around it and my fingers are crossed. 

Speaking of Plants - I stumbled upon this incredible Stop Motion Video for an iPad App called Plants by Tiny Bop. This really is worth a watch. Incredibly painstakingly hand made. Amazing. I think if I had a small child and owned an iPad, I think these Apps would be a fun way to help a child learn. 

Paper to Plants from Tinybop on Vimeo.

After you watch that, if you have time, here is another video about how the first video was made. Awesome.  

Hope you all have a great 4th. We are busy, busy, busy. After the Farmers Market on Tuesday I am off to Detroit next week for taping Knit and Crochet Now. I get to meet Deborah Norville who is the new host replacing Brett Bara who has just had twins. Then back for a Fabric Printing Class here at the farm on July 18/19. Still spaces available - check it out here

After that, I fear summer will be almost half over! Oh no. 

I wish all of you Americans a Happy 4th of July! Everyone else - happy weekend. 


Leslie said...

I would hope you loose no readers/viewers over the grubs, Kristin. After all, most of us are here due to fiber, animals and/or color and they all deal with nature. Most interesting video in fact although I prefer my grubs via film than in person.

Safe travels!

Angela Tarvin said...

Unfortunately I had just started eating breakfast when I sat down to read your blog. Oh no, grubs! :) I quickly scrolled by them. Will read in detail when I'm not eating. Love your huge garden, as it reminds me of my German great grandmother's garden, grubs and all.

Cindy said...

Hi Kristin - I had to laugh, to be pleased getting a pile of manure from "The Farmer" for your birthday :-D


Frances said...

Kristin, even if I might be a tad squeamish, I still enjoyed reading about how you've readied the ground for your garden. The video of those chickens snacking was rather funny. Aren't Japanese beetles amongst the bugs that trouble roses?

Happy Fourth to you! xo

RMK said...

Wow - from someone else on a sheep farm, this was a great "stream of consciousness" post !!! :~0

PS - loved the tea pot & cups on the banner!

Auntie Shan said...

ah. Manure. The "perfect" gift for Someone who doesn't give a "s**t" about their age..? ;-} [THE FARMER, he's definitely a "keeper"!]

BTW, what "FRANCES" said... aren't those beetles a bit nasty? -- Make sure the chickens eat ALL of them!

Anyhoo, hope you ALL have a GREAT 4TH! -- BTW, I'll be cheering for the U.S. on Sunday. And GOOD LUCK with the "shear"-fest!

Claire said...

Fascinating post, although they are gruesome to look at, grubs are very interesting creatures. Glad the hens enjoyed them. said...

Hahaha! I was eating breakfast also when the grubs showed up - but I didn't miss a bite! We have chickens, too, so I know how much they enjoy a juicy grub and am (kind of) used to them now.

I would never stop reading your blog because you showed bugs.

penny said...

I love these stream-of-consciousness posts! grubs are a fact of life and garden.

best wishes for favorable weather for shearing and safe travels!

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