After nearly 20 years in big Tokyo I was feeling burned out in my not-so-successful "career" in the service industry, knocking on several after a chance discovery of cheap old farmhouses we set out towards the countryside - but still close enough for my wife to further pursue her working live, commuting by Shinkansen while I would take care of the house and kids and build my own little cafe at home...
Our first bump came when we realized that the bank wasn't willing to give a loan for an old rundown house on some worthless property in the "Hinterland". So, we changed plans and will be building a new house. We already bought the plot last year, with about 400 square meters size, and I have started the vegetable garden beforehand, next project will be the garden house.

08 July, 2011

I was finally fed up with all that weed crawling all over the place and making the air really humid because the ground beneath wouldn't dry from last night's rain. So I took a sickle that Hiromi had bought just a week ago to take care of the spreading weeds in front of the apartment, and which came in really handy now, 20 min of swinging left and right and the garden looked like freshly shaved, with just some odd ends sticking up here and there.

The potatoes on the other hand looked real devastated, just the plants at the front end are still with some green. Next year I will definitely plant the rows the other way and leave more space in between them, so that there will be more wind blowing through it. Still, this year's crop should still be okay.

Work at the Garden House has been progressing slowly but steady and today I finished the two parts for the front wall, next week will be the big day when I rise first these two parts and than the back wall, which you can see already assembled at the bottom. This will make the work to secure the walls, faster. Because it will be more difficuilt to cover the walls against rain I want to finish the frame work up to the roof in one day, military-operation like, and thus try to cut and assemble as much as possible on the ground beforehand.

The mulberry tree has been showing a steady albeit small supply of fruits, hampered by the fact that many branches are too high to reach with our small ladder, not to mention the fact that the birds like them too! The thing with mulberries is that they don't ripen all at once, but little by little, all over the tree.

This "Koenigskerze", King's Candle, as they are called in German, is looking like it wants to become more of a chandelier it seams. There are about another dozen or so on our lot, but this one is by far the most "majestic" one.

At this time of the year there are not only bugs and insects of all sizes and shapes around, but many different caterpillars as well. Especially the mulberry tree looks like a microcosm of bugs, so much that I feel like an intruder when I try to plug a few berries.

Now this one is a really unwanted species, the larvae of the Fall webworm moth, once native to America only, now found all over the world. They build huge webbed nests on the outer tree limbs without being to delicate against wind or sunshine.The mulberry tree was covered by them last year and luckily my cutting-back has resulted in far less of them but next week I definitely have to do some cutting again or the problem will grow like those bugs on the potato leafs...

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