Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Best Of Intentions

"I'm sorry, you were saying something about best of intentions... 
Well, allow me to retort."


I had the best of intentions when I put in the compost pile in the back garden. I made three of them actually. One a covered pile of green manures, mostly swept leaves from the brick patio that is the back garden, combined with the residues of the plots and the leftover bits of trees and land clearings from the neighbors. 

The Mystery 'Agent Orange' Caterpillar 
Another pile was of sticks, branches and other high carbon things that needed to decompose a bit in the rain and heat before being added to the pile. That one was uncovered. 

I also had kitchen waste compost in a 5 gallon pail that I peed on in the morning and whenever I was home throughout the day. It was, and is still, wonderful. - The rest I had to burn and go back to compost-in-a-bag. 

Defoliated Fig Tree in Mid Summer, Hanoi
What I did, in combination with creating some rich wonderful humus to add to the thriving papaya, banana and passion fruit was to create a breeding ground for cockroaches and a strange kind of fig-tree-specific caterpillar that I am calling the agent-orange-caterpillar. 

Within a week it ate all the leaves off of the four story tall healthy fig tree in the back garden. I was out of town when it took place and since returning I have seen that the 'agent orange' caterpillar does not stop there. Now it is eating the small branches and even the bark. 

I find myself outside, unable to sleep, climbing the tree in the in the early morning with a spray bottle full of garlic, ginger and alcohol. I think the caterpillars like it. 
With the best of intentions I have created a Permacultural nightmare. 

Anyone with information regarding the 'agent orange caterpillar please help. 

The Caterpillar in Question eating a fig branch
Post a Comment