As a farmer or gardener, one is often reminded of impending apocalypse. From evidence of a changing climate to unpredictable weather and indeterminate growing seasons, the evidence of doom is everywhere. But never is it more obvious than in giant fucking mutant bugs.
The red spike makes them even more menacing, doesn’t it? That and the fact that they devour tomato plants faster than Cookie Monster devours cookies.
But they aren’t the only predator of the innocent tomato plant. There is also blight. I don’t know whether ours is early or late, but it’s definitely here now.
This is only happening to the tomato plants in pots. The one in the raised bed is virtually blight free. I drilled holes in the bottom of the buckets for drainage, but I suspect the buckets still don’t drain well, and tomatoes like well-drained soil, so this might be a factor. After speaking to the Blight Guy (You want that to be your job, don’t you? It’s almost better than the Repo Man.) at a local nursery, apparently lack of calcium in the soil can also cause blight, so I got a spray-on calcium that can be used both as a fertilizer in the soil and directly applied to the leaves. I also bought a copper fungicide that can supposedly be used for organic gardening. I applied both of these only once, and the blight does appear to be contained to the lower leaves of the plants. There are also spots on the fruit, though, even on the plant in the raised bed.
Is this blight? The fruit tastes fine, amazing actually, if you try not to think about the fact that you are probably eating a fungus-riddled tomato.
But that’s not even the worst garden problem. The worst is Japanese Fucking Beetles. This should be their technical name because they proliferate like they’re afraid of going extinct.
Oh look, there’s a couple going at it on our apple tree sapling. We pick them off every single day and ruthlessly feed them to the chickens, who adore this wriggling protein snack, but they Keep. Coming. Back. I was already nervous about the copper fungicide. I abjectly refuse to use pesticide. Even “gentle” pesticides like neem oil kill on contact and are hazardous to the already scarce bees. Knowing that the lack of bees is also a sign of the apocalypse, which I have personally witnessed, I am not about to unintentionally make the problem worse. Bee keeping is next year’s adventure, though many of our friends lost their hives this year because of the long winter and cold, recalcitrant spring.
In the meantime, we will continue to enjoy our other giant fucking mutant lifeforms: squash.