20120415

Look ma, I'm a peasant!

Well, I'm really sorry for the delay, I'm visiting my grandma and there's so much work to do!
Like, you know, climb stuff and pick lemons.
Anyway, if you noticed my page about the Ă–rtig garden, you know I like gardening and working with plants, so I'm gonna ramble a bit about this now. And just to say it right away - today was fun! We got time to visit two of our fields and do some real work, though it was raining the whole morning and that kinda messed up our plans. Also we had to put on these ugly green raincoats.

And our fields are awesome.
If you ever worked with olives, you know how hard it can be to keep the pests off the plant. On the island of Mljet, where my family has land, the biggest problem is the bug called Otiorrhyncus cribricollis. What it does best is nibbling. That is, the little fucker eats half of the leaves. Even if you don't have a problem with exactly this bug, I bet there's a lot of other that do this same thing, and have to be kept of the plant. Well, today I learned a neat, cheap, economical way to do just this that is also good for the plant. And forget about pesticides, poison or whatever - this is so simple and non-toxic for any kind of life that it's just incredible. It can also be used on any kind of plant, not just olives.

There is this great polyester-wool tape called Rincotrap (the page is in Italian, though) which you simply wrap around the branch following the steps below, and that's it.
My mom's the best.
1) Cut enough of the tape to be able to actually wrap it around the branch. This might seem like a fairly self-evident thing, but sometimes you just, you know, don't really think much. My mother and I didn't, anyway. xD Then you separate the two layers of wool, and take one, while keeping the other for the next branch.
2) Wrap the wool around the branch, and tie it in the middle with some elastic ribbon (and remember to use an elastic one - this wool can last for more than a year, during which the branch will grow thicker and a non-elastic rope will cut into it. This happened to one of our younger olives and it's pretty ugly, and bad for the plant).
3) Fold the upper half of the tape over the ribbon and the lower half of the tape.
And that's it! The bugs crawl up the branch, enter the trap you made and get stuck in the fibers of the wool. And thus the plan(e)t is saved! As I said, the tape can last for more than a year, but sometimes the birds will cut it up while trying to pick the bugs out of it, so it would be best to check it every now and then. You can also put two traps on the same branch to double the effects and capture them more sneaky bugs, but make sure to leave some space between them.
"Oh man, did we cut the wrong length AGAIN?"
The final product - hipster olive.
Well, other than that, I didn't learn much, but we had lots of fun and picked a TON of asparagus and dandelion leaves for dinner, and boy was it good.
And there are some apples-to-be, too!
So, do you like gardening and what tips can you share? :)

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