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Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 10/5/2015, 7:09 am

And now, for the report.

My other items didn't bother to sprout, but the beans grew.  Sometimes this type of bean vine can be trained up a trellis and needs to zig-zag to keep from going over the top.  Other times, it gives up after 1-2 meters.  I think the best of these got a little over 2 meters.  Not sure if it's something in the mix, the time of year, or what.

In any event, they started producing some nice, healthy looking beans at about the same time some beans in pots planted at the same time started producing (bean plants in pots averaged only slightly longer vines).  Overall, the plants in the box were more productive.

Sadly, exact figures were thrown off by the interference of the local rodent population.  I think they overheard me telling my wife I was going to start picking the beans the next day.  The next day, half the beans were nibbled on.  I got as many undamaged ones as I could and composted all those which had been chewed on.  The rats took revenge on me for stealing "their" food and started attacking the bean plants.  First it was some leaves cut off.  Then one vine had a section one meter up and about a handspan wide cut through at the top and chewed on the bottom just enough to fall over.  Naturally, the upper part quickly and the rats kept removing leaves from the lower portion of the plant.  I knew rats could be vicious, but this was the sort of vindictive behavior I've only seen before in badly behaved humans. Shocked

I've already got one kind of rat poison.  I've got several others in mind.  I'm planning full scale chemical warfare for the next few months, along with a nice assortment of other surprises. 

Despite the rats, I'm pleased with the results.  

If all goes according to plan, I'll be rolling out a few more garden boxes by spring while also trying to use a generous addition of Mel's Mix to improve the dirt in some of the existing pots.

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  sanderson on 10/5/2015, 11:25 am

Lunatic, I was afraid you had escaped! Glad you checked back in. I had to laugh at your comparison to badly behaved people. The nature of rats makes it hard to kill them. First, they are wary of new things (poison). Second, if one bites the dust, the others learn and become bait shy. The best approach is to not have anything for them like shelter, water and food. Since this is a garden, we can toss that method. The best approach is rat-proofing the roof top or at least the garden area. 1/4" wire mesh caging of any kind would be the best, heavy stapled to a wood frame. Yes, they can chew through the wood so you would have to walk the perimeter checking out any gnawed areas. We are rooting for you!

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/5/2015, 1:08 pm

Good luck with the rats, Lunatic. I used to keep a pet one, but know they can be unbelievably filthy and destructive wild. And they can squeeze their bodies through any space big enough for their heads -- kind of like an octopus! -- so keeping them out of anywhere they want to go is truly a nightmare job. Best of luck, again ... it is likely to take a major effort on multiple fronts.

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Scorpio Rising on 10/5/2015, 6:08 pm

Plinking session with a 22g. Nightly. And daily. Plink, plink....

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  AtlantaMarie on 10/5/2015, 6:52 pm

LOL, SR!  Unfortunately, I don't think the Chinese gov't allows their citizens to own guns...  EL - am I correct?  If I'm wrong, I'd certainly go with SR's idea!!!!

BTW - what happened on the fridge?  Did they get it fixed?

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 10/6/2015, 12:58 am

The fridge was returned.  Again, only 2 guys did it.

Rat proofing the roof would be very difficult.  There's a place were rats can stroll over from the next-door neighbor's roof without even jumping.  Even if I block that (not sure how), these things are incredibly acrobatic and houses in the village do things like running cables and pipes on the outside.  The main "commuter lines" for rats in the village are the power lines running along the backside of each row of houses.

Sadly, a real gun isn't an option (except maybe at a licensed target shooting range).  I've heard rumors of pellet guns being available.  Although I consider myself a decent shot, these things are fast, generally only come out in the dark, and close quarters shooting with brick walls means I've got a good chance of catching a ricocheted pellet in the face, so sniping them won't be my first choice.

Instead, it's going to be trap and poison city.  Maybe I'll put their heads on pikes (or chopsticks Smile) as a warning to others.  I also need to renew my correspondence with the guy on the village hygiene committee about other methods to discourage rodents.

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  sanderson on 10/6/2015, 1:20 am

@Escaped Lunatic wrote:The fridge was returned.  Again, only 2 guys did it.
Photo?

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/6/2015, 2:11 am

@Escaped Lunatic wrote:I also need to renew my correspondence with the guy on the village hygiene committee about other methods to discourage rodents.

Eat them!

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 10/8/2015, 7:07 am

I just put the fridge return pic in the thread about all the compost material I got out of that disaster.

However, as long as I was at it, here's what was left after I removed the nibbled beans:




Today I noticed that several more plants have been chewed off at the level of the horizontal PVC pipe on the trellis (not a cut, but a section removed).  My angry rat isn't done punishing me for removing "his" food supply.

I am told that rat is on the "unofficial" menu at some restaurants in this area.  Considering the amount of rat poison spread around the village, someone would need to be very hungry to risk eating any of the ones here.

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/8/2015, 1:20 pm

There are plenty of stories out about eating rat in China, sometimes sold to the unknowing as chicken. I've read that many people will not eat the city rats due to poison and pollution issues, but will happily eat rats taken from the countryside.

Hey, meat is meat, I guess. And most anything that helps control rats is a good thing.

What's that saying, that I've heard Chinese themselves say? "If the sun shines on its back or it swims or.... something else..."--my memory is too vague here-- the Chinese will eat it. Basically that they'll eat anything.

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 10/9/2015, 3:04 am

I've heard a few versions.  One I remember is something like "If it has 2 legs and isn't a person or if it has 4 legs and isn't a chair, Chinese people will eat it."

Rat is officially banned (at least locally).  I've never gotten the nerve to ask for it at the more traditional Guangdong restaurants.  I've gone to great extremes to avoid eating dog.  It's easier than you might think.  Chinese view dog meat as a delicacy, so it's very expensive.  Just don't pick any mystery meat dish that's at least twice the price of similar looking dishes and you'll be safe.

On the other hand, there's a place near here that serves donkey dumplings.  Those were surprisingly good.  Speaking of equine cuisine, On my honeymoon, I had noodle soup with some kind of meat  It turned out to be horse (of course, of course).  My wife didn't understand when I said "W-i-i-i-i-l-b-u-r.  P-u-u-t down the g-u-u-n. It’s n-o-o-o-t br-o-o-o-o-ken.  W-i-i-i-i-l-b-u-r, N-O-O-O-O-O!!!" Laughing

There's a Brazilian restaurant near downtown which offers camel meat (Why camel at a Brazilian place?  I've got no clue.), and I've had yak meat in Yunnan province.

(Small, yet shameless self-promotion here - you can read the whole honeymoon blog, complete with the encounter with horse noodle soup on my website.  Look under Lunatic Love and Romance in China.)

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  AtlantaMarie on 10/9/2015, 9:12 am

Horse meat...  Just remember that it can cause problems with tetanus shots....  At least if you eat it regularly.  

Camp - can you give us more info?

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 10/10/2015, 11:02 pm

Ah joy.  I already know I'm allergic to horse-based rattlesnake antivenin, and that was long before horse noodle soup.  I'm about due for a tetanus booster, so I may have some new entertainment to look forward to. Shocked

Camp???


In an amazing coincidence, I just got a dinner invite to the Brazilian place.  Guess I'd walk a mile to eat a camel. Laughing

The first noticable cold front of the season just rolled through.  Maybe I can spend less time watering and more time messing with the soil mix in the pots (at least the ones where a tree isn't in the way).

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  sanderson on 10/11/2015, 1:30 am

A mile Razz

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  AtlantaMarie on 10/12/2015, 8:38 pm

Camprn is one of our administrators.  She's a nurse, hence the "rn."  She'll know!

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dongguan

Post  kauairosina on 10/12/2015, 9:29 pm

Pretty funny -- not everyone would get it, but we are mostly oldsters here.  thanks for giggle.

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 2/28/2016, 12:15 am

Egad, it's been awhile.

Let's see - some good news.  The evil rat which made a point of seeing how many of my plants it could destroy evidently died sometime while I was away in India.  Several of the pepper plants are attempting to recover.  The war on rats continues.

Redid my first pepper pot to be a mix of dirt and Mel's mix.  I need to head off to find some new seeds for it.

First experimental styrofoam container is now producing some tomatoes. 

And, a few weeks ago, the impossible happened.  My beautiful tropical paradise got frost and even a few flakes of snow. Shocked

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/28/2016, 8:35 am

EL! SO good to hear from you!!!

Snow? Oh, dear....

Glad the rat's gone. (shivering & frowning) And I'm glad everything's starting to recover.

India? Pray tell.... Where, why, have fun?

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Kelejan on 2/28/2016, 10:27 am

Nice to see you again, Lunatic. Very Happy

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/28/2016, 10:59 am

Hey there, EL! Glad you dropped in! Also good to hear the evil rat died, as well as the arrival of tomatoes! YUM! What kind of peppers you going to plant? I like mostly bell sweet types, but usually grow one jalapeño for salsa, stir fry, etc.

What are you going to grow this year? Glad your styrofoam containers are working out cheers

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  sanderson on 2/28/2016, 1:10 pm

Hi, EL happy hi

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 2/28/2016, 10:25 pm

Hey everyone!

I spent a few weeks training a coworker (and had Thanksgiving with Indians).  Surat was nice, but his wife kept him too busy.  Then he got this great idea to escape to a beach in Goa.  It was great being able to work while sitting on the front porch of a beach shack.


Still have rat issues, but at least the extremely destructive one seems to be gone.  Keep hoping for some free time to stir up a few buckets of Mel's Mix to fill another cooler or two.  Managed to trip and injure my left wrist, so am having to take gardening a little easier than usual.

Some good news - Looks like some of the pepper seeds I planted weeks ago may be coming up (or some weeds doing a very good job of impersonating peppers - time will tell).  Maybe older seeds take longer to sprout? thinking

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/29/2016, 7:56 am

Yeah... we wives are great about those "honey-do" lists... But glad you were able to sit by the beach.

Sorry about your wrist. Hope it feels better soon!

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/29/2016, 7:03 pm

Beach and work, who cares? Beach trumps work every time!

Hope you have peppers, and not weeds! Hope your wrist heals well, take it easy, EL. Keep us posted!

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

Post  sanderson on 3/1/2016, 2:51 pm

@Escaped Lunatic wrote:  It was great being able to work while sitting on the front porch of a beach shack.

Managed to trip and injure my left wrist
Are these two statements related, by any chance? Wink

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Re: Hello from beautiful Dongguan, China

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