Lauren In Tokyo

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Avocado: Heat, humidity, and rain

This past Saturday was Julian's birthday party. It was a joint birthday party for about 4 kids who were all born around this time of year at the same hospital. We all had a good time, and had way too much cake.

I made my increasingly famous nachos. And what takes center stage in the recipe? Why, an avocado, of course. So now I have an extra avocado seed and am considering sprouting another one. I have two seedlings already, this would be a third, and there is a fourth waiting in the unpeeled avocado in the kitchen.

Growing these things is my small way to combat global warming, or something...

This week was relatively warm. The humidity has become very high and yesterday it rained almost all day. This signals the start of the Japanese summer. The rain will last about two weeks in a mini-season called tsuyu. During these two weeks, the temperatures reach into the 90s and the humidity is maxed out at 100%. It's a terrible time for us humans. The avocados are responding very happily, though.

There isn't much growth news this week except to say that the main trunk seems to have been completely bypassed in favor of the secondary trunk. This is the growth that started from a little shoot on the side and has now grown into the main trunk. The only worry is that as the tree grows, will the joint strength hold?

I meant to transplant the tomato plant this weekend, but found out in the process that we don't have a shovel. I will need to transplant it this week.


Monday, June 02, 2008

Gas prices jump 10 yen per liter yesterday

Gas prices here in Tokyo have never been especially cheap. When we first got our car, the prices were about 100 yen/liter. The yen was also a lot weaker in those days, so assuming that the exchange rate was about 120 yen/dollar, the price of a gallon of gas was about $3.80/gal. This was back in 2004.

Yesterday, gas prices hit an all time high here. 170 yen/liter. A 70% jump in price in just 4 years. Doing the math with the latest yen/dollar exchange rate of 105 yen/dollar, we get $6.12/gal.

Needless to say, our driving habits have had to adapt.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Avocado: Skipping the metrics this week

Want some metrics? How about 4 days of a terrible cold and a 38.8°C fever. This week has been pretty terrible as far as my health goes. But I think I'm over the hardest part and finally on the road to recovery.

And the same can be said for the broken seedling! The reason I am skipping taking metrics this week is because they don't really make sense at this point anymore.

The reason I started taking them in the first place was to measure the progress of the avocado stem after it was broken. The stem would need to show consistent growth or I would have to cut this little experiment short due to a failed seedling.

What I hadn't counted on was the seedling bypassing the broken stem altogether. As you can see in this week's photo, the bud that we've been looking at for the past 2 or 3 weeks has grown into a full-fledged stem of its own.

The secondary stem has completely outpaced the original stem in growth. I believe the original stem has stopped growing and will probably dry out and fall off at some point. If there is no other growth on the original stem, I may prune it back.

The other avocado plant is still going strong. The new leaves are sprouting nicely. Summer is coming and the new set of leaves will help absorb a lot of sunlight this year.