September marked the end of the summer vegetables. To sum up, I had a wonderful harvest of green pepper and bell pepper (still going strong), okura and eggplant; tomatoes (small and large) were not as plentiful as last year, and bitter gourd served only as a curtain providing shade for the summer house. I am very happy with the green pepper, capsicum, okura and eggplants. I have now started planning for the autumn season and hope to grow leafy veggies in place, as soon as the summer vegetables end.
This is how my veggie patch looked like the first week of September, with all plants fully mature, and the okura plants standing tall and erect.
Two days later, I removed the first row of eggplants as the season was almost over, extended the patch toward the front and prepared the soil to accept Chinese cabbage.
At the beginning of summer, my cabbages were badly bruised by pests; this time I’m taking no chances. I prepared the soil with organic fertilizers and a few days later, planted Chinese cabbage plants and also erected a tunnel with a net that allows light, air and water to pass through. Here is a view showing the net where the eggplants were growing and the extended patch:
I’m fairly confident of harvesting pest-free and healthy cabbages this time.
In the meanwhile, we had a family outing last Sunday to a pear orchard about 25 km from my house. The place is called Fruit Village (in Japanese “Fruits Mura”), and is located a few kilometers off the national route 410 in a green and verdant forest reached by a narrow meandering road that climbs up and down. On the day we visited this place, pears were in plentiful. The owner of the farm handed over a pail and four knives (for the four of us), and we could pluck and eat as many pears as we liked for 700 yen a person. The pears were juicy and sweet; I couldn’t eat more than three of them!
Here’s a view of the pear orchard:
The pears in Japan are round unlike those in India and the US (the term “pear-shaped” doesn’t work here). They were quite sweet and juicy, with the pulp not as dense or as white as pears as I have eaten in India and the USA.
The entire orchard is covered by net at the top to prevent birds and other pests from having a go at the pears. At nearly 6 feet, I was a little uncomfortable because my head would touch the tree; I had to crouch and walk, but the delicious pears were worth it! Another view of the pear trees below:
Here’s a close-up of a couple of pears (photo taken by my son):
Besides pears, the Fruits Farm had separate areas for chestnuts and Kiwis as well. The chestnuts however, were not yet ready for harvest, but looked good.
And here are close-ups of the chestnuts:
After a delicious treat of the pears, we walked around the farm enjoying the greenery and the myrtle trees with pink flowers that lit up the fields. Here is a photo:
Next week, I plan to put together photos of flowers in vegetable plants – yes, these are also pretty and colorful. Have a great weekend!