Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Indian Summer!!!

Life has been in slight disarray over past one month. Hot and humid summer months are always a stress, not only personally, but professionally as well. The number of patients suffering from viral fever and gastroenteritis goes up drastically sparing me with less time for other things. A side effect of all this has been borne by my garden and my blog. The lawns do not present a pretty picture with unkempt tall grass making me a little shame faced. All kinds of small creatures have made their abode in these tall grasses. The pruning and cutting work has been relatively better managed, thanks to my garden help who obviously wasn’t constrained by the weather factor; he is a weather hardened guy totally unperturbed by any sorts of heat or humidity. The mango tree disappointed this season and I couldn’t have more than a single piece of my favorite fruit from it. But the loss in the quantity of mangoes – if not the taste – was made up by the jamun(Indian blackberry) tree, which produced an abundance of sweet jamuns; a very rich source of anti-oxidants. I tried several innovative – if I dare call them so – techniques to conserve the vegetables, guarding them against the onslaught of bugs emboldened by their favorite hot and humid weather, but most of those ‘innovative’ techniques fell back on my face: the security ring around the bitter gourd - the newspaper cover - was compromised, and these nasty bugs... ended up enjoying a meal leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. With my aversion to the use of pesticides I feel like a dumb standing there mutely watching the parasites eat into my labor and patience. I believe in trying to avoid too much negativity, and so the issue of bird eaten, bug-laden guavas will be discussed some other time. Meanwhile, the silver lining is that barring supernatural wrath things cannot go any worse; hence I can expect a recovery from hereon. This year the weather has played very truant with exceptional humidity and failed rains, but by first of September things will start getting cooler and hopefully, we will have a healthy blossoming season ahead (The threat of Swine Flu notwithstanding).


Louise @ Buddy Garden said...

Try using old pantyhose to protect the fruits from bugs and animals.

Stacey said...

Have you ever tried Neem on your plants to protect them from insects? I've been thinking about trying it since it is considered organic.

islandgal246 said...

Sorry to hear about your mango crop or lack of it. I have just finished cutting up some ripe ones to make a sorbet and to freeze for later. This year I had my fill, I ate for breakfast lunch and dinner LOL. I gave away by the bag full. The season is now winding down and it is just the Jullies am harvesting. Why don't you try the stocking method to protect your veggies as suggested by Louise. I read on garden web of someone doing that and had great results. Thanks for stopping by to see how the birdies are doing.

Julie said...

I feel your pain with the weather, and it's effects! Here's to a cooler, drier, and more beautiful upcoming season!!!
Hang in there!!!
Oh...I love your Indian Blackberry tree...do you eat them as they are or make pies, or jellies with them??? I will do a little research on that!
Take care, Green Thumb!!!

Sunita said...

Its been the same here too. No mangoes, hardly any cashew ... :(
I hope it'll be better next year.
I've been thinking about you with all this news of the H1N1 epidemic and hoping you're keeping safe.
As for the nasty bugs, try neem oil ... its the best!

Layanee said...

I also wondered if you tried the Neem as it is from India and seems to work well on a plethora of insects without compromising fruit or flowers.

GetSoiled said...

Hi there,

:-( <-- about your mangoes! that is so sad when one is looking forward to a particular crop and then it does not materialize!
(believe me, I know the feeling too...just like so many others).

I was also wondering if you happen to know of a source of jamun seeds in the US...I have been seraching for them but no nursery here has them, which really does not make any sense since most things that grow in India would grow in Florida (similar humid hot weather and such)...

Anyway, if you have the time and you know of a source, would you let me know here?

thank you so much!

sweet bay said...

There's been a lot of Swine Flu here in NC too, but it has not proven to be dangerous. I wish I was impervious to heat and humidity like your garden helper. lol August is a trying month.

*Ulrike* said...

Isn't that the way it goes? We work hard on our garden and yard, and then something comes up where we can not do as much as we would like and then wham! the weeds and grass take over! It is the same here, and my poor garden...I made a path to my tomatoes the other day! The weather here goes between hot and dry to high humidity although I must say we need the rain. I hope that September is more promising for you. On the jamuns, can you eat them straight from the tree or do you need to cook them first? I am always interested in anything that can help the immune system; especially for my daughter. Loved the parrot in the tree from your previous post! How wonderful to be able to look outside and watch a bird as lovely as that one!

Green thumb said...

Thank you all for spending some time on my blog. I appreciate the concern shown and will try all the wonderful ideas offered. That's the real fun of blogging; valuable suggestions drop in from such varied quarters.
As far as Neem is concerned, I did try it, but the bug turned out to be a 'latest 21st century mutated variety' totally unaffected by the time tested age old remedy!!!
Jamun or Indian Blackberry is a very good source of anti-oxidants, as most other richly pigmented fruits are. This fruit is eaten raw, and has a rather sweet and mildly sour taste. It tastes best when soaked in salt water for 30 minutes.

A wildlife gardener said...

We do share our gardens with the wildlife whether we like it or not. We create paradises for them..and they think it is an extension of what they already know, with food they are familiar with in their diet... I hope they left enough for you :)

Rusty in Miami said...

The perils of gardening in the tropics, I feel your pain.


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