Last day of garden lab

Here are a couple of pictures I took to document the new projects we started yesterday–building a picnic table, designing and building a pea-scaffold, shaping an abstract sculpture of long tines of wood into a trellis that will also coax the peas skyward, mulching to protect from the heat, and putting in some new plantings.

A tower of peas poised to grow.

A tower of peas poised to grow.

Tines of re-purposed wood provide a pitchfork-like frame for peas to grow.

Tines of re-purposed wood provide a pitchfork-like frame for peas to grow.

Here is a snap of the some of the yukkier denizens of our new ecosystem, aphids that have infested the cabbage.

Aphids preying on the bolting cabbage.

Aphids preying on the bolting cabbage.

The UC ag resources website has this to say about them. They are indeed specialists, and called cabbage aphids~

DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST

Cabbage aphids are green gray with a white, waxy coating. They commonly occur in dense colonies, often covered with waxy droplets. They prefer to feed on the youngest leaves and flowering parts and are often found deep within the heads of cabbages or Brussels sprouts. The aphid has a simple life cycle with adult females giving birth to live offspring throughout the year in most parts of California. Both winged and wingless adults occur; the winged adults have a black thorax and lack the waxy coating. The aphid does not infest noncruciferous crops but can survive on related weed species when cole crops are not in the field.

No doubt we will see more similar “pests,” as we continue to grow things. I think the cabbages were a bit vulnerable because they were stuck in their pots so long before they initially got planted and they got kind of weak overall. Also, since we are just starting to build up our soil and its microbial worlds with new compost, the soil is also kind of “new,” and probably not as hardy a nutrient as it will be even in a few weeks.

And lastly, a group-ish picture as things wind down for the day.

Relaxing around the new picnic table that you guys just built!

Relaxing around the new picnic table that you guys just built!

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