Thursday, April 29, 2010


This post really has very little to do with gardening, except that you may notice that the time has come to whack some weeds on the embankment in these photos.

I was just reading a very disturbing article about the importance of play and how it is disappearing at a rapid rate from schools and homes in the US (and probably other countries, too), and what this means for our children (nothing good). Apparently, lots of kids don't even know HOW to play any more, even given the opportunity. Needless to say, as a mother, a teacher, and a worrier, I found all this rather distressful.

However, I am rather confident that our girls have ample opportunity to play, both at school and at home. Recently, they have learned to entertain themselves for an entire day outside while we garden with minimal fighting. Today M's friend spent the day with us, and they had lots and lots of play. I think this is how they will spend the rest of Golden Week, except for the day we go to the pottery festival. Oh, and my husband is planning to cut the weeds back tomorrow, so hiding spots for hide-and-seek might require a bit more inventiveness. Right now, they just walk a few paces and sit down.

They did manage to catch a few butterflies, but let them go.
Hide and seek, L and friend are hiding front left, M is seeking.
The hiders...
Almost found...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Transplanting tomatoes

Well, once again I haven't blogged for ages and have a desktop full of photos from late March and the first half of April yet to be blogged. I will have to go back to that when I have time (ha ha).

Anyway, today was a perfect day for gardening, so I finally tackled transplanting tomato seedlings. As you may recall (since I haven't blogged anything in the weeks since...) we planted over 100 tomato seeds. Well, the vast majority came up. So, today I had to murder quite a few and managed to pare it down to 71, still far more tomatoes than will ever fit in our garden full grown.

Moving them to bigger pots is a bit of a gamble because we have had unseasonably cold nights recently, even with a frost watch sometimes. In bigger pots, they won't fit in our green house. Because, it's really more of a green shelf.

Anyway, here they are (half of them) in their original seedling pots...
And we made a special mixture of soil, manure (cow), and egg shells to plant them in. I know I am getting obsessed with the tomatoes again because when we went to Hanamaru (dollar udon, it's like the McDonald's of noodles) the other day all I could think was, just think how many egg shells they THROW AWAY every day. I even thought of asking them if I could leave a bucket in the corner to collect them, but decided that might be pushing the crazy foreigner with crazy foreign ideas envelope a little too far. Anyway, here is my senior assistant egg shell smasher...
Empty pots waiting to be filled... My husband frees all the green and blue plastic baskets from his work warehouse btw. The perks of being the only person who is willing to clean out the warehouse.
And all of my repotted tomatoes! It only took me 4 hours...
Meanwhile, my husband was hard at work doing his human rotatiller (sp?) thing, getting the okra beds ready. The girls were busy weeding all day, but helped him with the black plastic.

And finally, I mixed manure and compost into the back of the flower bed in front of my classroom. This year my oldest class (6-7 year olds) planted Jack Be Little mini-pumpkins. I want to grow them (the pumpkins, not the kids) up to the roof of the classroom. It will be easy for my students to watch them grow and it will be nice shade in the summer.