I started today at 6am with a hilly bicycle ride, and hot. It was nice with no traffic, making good time. Near the marshes mosquitoes pinged off my helmet like BBs. But by the time I was halfway through, rush-hour traffic, traffic lights and a couple of freeway crossings made it much less pleasant. Luckily, the last 5 miles or so left the main roads so I had a chance to unwind before I got home.

I didn’t realize how tired my legs were until I tried to use the stairs.

Back home, I spent about an hour deep watering the plants to counter all the heat we’ve been having, then removing shutters and moving furniture in preparation for the new windows we’re getting tomorrow.

There were dozens of old wasp and hornet nests under the shutters, but only two or three active ones. Maybe cleaning them out will make room for new ones.

I also picked up a John Jeavons
book from the local library, The Sustainable Vegetable Garden

. One of the main reasons I got it was to find out how to get enough green matter for compost if you don’t have any grass clippings, or enough kitchen waste, to really do the job. The answer from this book is to grow compost crops – crops for the soil
. Fava beans, vetch, wheat and rye – the wheat and rye can be grown to maturity to provide some food value, but their main purpose is to build up the soil.

The challenge for us is that we have such a short growing season that to do it well, we probably need to grow both compost and food crops simultaneously, which requires more space than I originally planned. On the other hand, the other techniques in the book reduce the space I need, so altogether it’s probably a wash.