Monday, July 5, 2010

What a Wonderfully Wet Weekend

Molokhiya (Corchorus olitorius)

unripe papaya interior

semi-ripe papaya cubed for a stir fry

ripe papaya

papaya leaf vein patterns

female papaya blooms

growing fruits

male papaya bloom stalk

Papayas are VERY easy from seeds from a ripe fruit

South Tampa's persistent rain shadow eased once again and over the last three days I've gotten almost four inches of wonderful to see my rain barrels and five gallon buckets lined up along the eaves of my house full and overflowing, my mulch and soil damp, the chickens running around looking soaked, to hear tree frogs singing and see my edible apple snaps feasting in their pond. Now at last I can begin my mass planting of papaya seedlings all around the chicken path perimeter of my back yard to provide shade canopy and of course, papayas! (I eat most of mine green, raw or cooked, as a staple, though I love a fresh ripe sweet one now and then).

I rarely eat cow meat, but today in the spirit of 4th of July style decadent eating I bought some ground chuck on sale, whole wheat buns and horseradish, and feasted on TWO homemade burgers topped with a slice of onion, squirt each of mustard and catsup, and a fistful of fresh molokhiya leaves instead of lettuce. I even splurged and bought a small jar of pickled herring, ( I ate half of it) AND a bag of 'Sweet Sixteen' powdered donuts and a half gallon of plain soymilk. Hey, when I splurge, I SPLURGE!

Until recently, we'd been VERY dry down here, so I had placed my giant pot planted with several molokhiya plants inside an even bigger plastic tub that could hold water...the molokhiya took OFF once that pot sat in a few inches of water. I have taken the Water Wise Container Gardens that grew tomatoes last winter and planted molokhiya in them too as I love the mild tender nutritious leaves as a rare summer green for Florida, both raw and cooked. To boost their growth I will give them a good drench of the water the three Muscovy ducks have soiled by pooping in it. Molokhiya loves both water AND nitrogen, and the hotter and muggier it gets the better it grows.

The papaya seedlngs I HAD planted in the back gardens, and kept alive with kitchen graywater and water still remaining in the rain barrels, should now take off as just before this rainy system came I gave them all a nice glug of 'Alaska Fish Fertilizer', approximately three tablespoons ger gallon of rainwater. (As in the kitchen, I never measure, just eyeball it). Once these new seedlings are planted, they too will get fish emulsion plus some of that poopy duck water.

I hope you had a great holiday weekend, and, if you like rain like I do, that you too got drenched, even if it meant no fireworks! John

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