Summer, strawberries and the quest for digital awards


Blogging to me is like exercising. They both take a while to get back into rhythm and once I do get back in the rhythm inevitably flu will kick me back into bed and shatter another resolution.

They cycle starts and stops, starts and stops.

The only time both have any chance of lasting is if I have a goal and award at the end (warrior dash anyone?), oh and it helps if I gather points along. Maybe it started with owning my iPhone and started the downward spiral of tracking inane actions such as meals I had (foodspotting), places I visit (foursquare), exercises (fitocracy) and my spending (iexpense) to name a few.

In short wordpress, congratulating me when I post is just not enough. Where is my fanfare, my medals, my quests, props from my legions of fans and my dashboard? Creating content is no longer its own reward, I need my ego to be stroked with each post. It could be so easy, create quests based on subjects and whenever a certain topic is reached every nth time I receive a medal or some credit or…something.

While I put away that minuscule first world problem aside, one thing that does give with every effort is my little patch of dirt attempting to grow and bear fruits.

My first real harvest was literally a handful of strawberry lowana grown from seedling during spring until now. This little plant was surprisingly fruitful considering the amount of rain it received during its flowering period. Taste wise I was expecting juicy summer drenched fruits, but aside from the additional crunchiness it is not noticeably sweeter than the store bought variety.

My dwarf beans were growing beans, but the harvest was somewhat pitiful with only 1 bean being harvested and only a single bean within the pod. My kale was growing until a sudden attack of conscience when spying two green caterpillars meant leaving them alone until they grow fat and big and reduced my entire crop into twigs. Caterpillars are cute, yes they grow into butterflies, but butterflies lay eggs within a surprisingly short period of time.

Beginning of the end

Unfortunately no birds decide to feast on my caterpillar family while they feast on my kale. What was a surprisingly effective natural predator was the humble lady beetle. During early spring my Japanese maple was completely covered with aphids, so much so that you can shake the tree and handfuls will just drop. A few weeks later small troop of lady beetles arrived and ate their way within two weeks.

Lady beetles I heart you.

In hindsight there were a number of things I should and shouldn’t have done. Such as completely rejigging the soil and adding a truckful of manure to revitalise the soil. 1 bag of compost, 1 bag of potting mix does not a healthy garden bed make, nor does an imaginary green thumb medal create a harvest, but you can always like this post and make me feel warm and fluffy for all of five seconds.

Lady bettle hoovering

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