The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Spent much of the day (after dropping M. off at summer art camp) in Yankton at the Organic Field Days there.  This is the first year for that event, so attendance wasn’t great, but we’ll do it bigger and better next year.  I gave two presentations–one on CSA and one on the economics of sustainable agriculture.

I also got to hear most of Rena Hebda’s presentation on their slow and deliberate transition to organic production. It sounds like they’re making a good effort over there in Mission Hill, and I took the opportunity to introduce myself and make the same case to her that I made to her husband over the phone: Come to our Market!

But they also have a CSA, and one of their delivery days is Thursday.  So, I suggested they consider us for next year.  I also met another grower from Volin who might be interested in coming next week with Sweet Corn!  It’s possible we’ll have a little for this week–but next week is the real deal from everything I’m hearing.

When I got back from Yankton, I had about an hour before I had to pick up M.  You’ve never seen a gal throw off the heels and scrub off the make-up faster than I did.  I went out to the farm for a little yesterday evening about seven, and the mosquitoes were so bad, I had to wear a head net just to do a (literal) run through the gardens.

I thought since it was earlier and hotter this afternoon, it’d be better.  Well, I wasn’t wearing the headnet, but DEET came into play–even in the heat and full sun.  I made the executive decision to do some harvesting this afternoon, so I wouldn’t have to donate quite so much blood tomorrow during the rest of the harvest.

The good news: summer squash is bearing in my gardens now.  I know everyone and their cousin has had it for a couple of weeks (remember: I planted later to break the bug cycle–no Sevin for me!), but much of what I am growing is the light green teardrop-shaped cousa (or cousa) squash–very pretty, very tender.

Better news is that sweet peppers are coming on–I’ll have about a dozen or so to sell tomorrow.  I stopped in Jones’ on the way home to check their prices–they’re getting a dollar apiece for some not-so-fresh-looking specimens (sorry, Dean, it’s true!).  Mine will be a much crisper and slightly cheaper seventy-five cents apiece.

The bad news: I am still not seeing any Monarch or Swallowtail caterpillars on the milkweed or dill or rue–either here at home or in the gardens.  Generally by now I’ll see at least a few–this year–absolute zero.  I have seen only one Black Swallowtail and one Monarch in the gardens this year. At home–one Monarch, no Swallowtails. Not good.

The ugly: Yep–there’s some late blight on the tomatoes.  It’s not widespread (yet), so tomorrow I’ll go out with pruning equipment and take out some plants–a pepper plant, a couple Principe Borghese tomatoes.

Some plants have a little, and I might try to save them by pruning with sterilized clippers.  A couple plants just need to go.  All the diseased foliage and plants will get tossed over the fence–far from my compost pile.  And next year, all the tomatoes get moved to a different garden.

Tonight’s dinner is a compilation of leftovers plus some extra veggies.  I made a baked chicken-and-rice dish last night to comply with M’s desire for bland foods, but tonight is going to be a little more veggie-full.

I’ve got a pepper I slashed with the knife during harvest (oopsy!), the smallest summer squash of the bunch, plus some broccoli side-shoots from earlier in the week.  There’s sugar snap peas left that need to be eaten as well.  And there’s a few pieces of the aforementioned chicken and some brown jasmine rice.

You know what I’m thinking, don’t you?  That sure sounds like fried rice!


4 responses

  1. Have you considered attracting bats to help combat the mosquitos?
    You can build bat houses pretty easily and cheaply. All you need is some plywood, a hammer, nails, and a chisel.

  2. Saw my first Swallowtail in town yesterday. It was lying dead on the sidewalk, but ’twas a Swallowtail nonetheless.

    It is weird how few butterflies are in Vermillion. Plenty of cabbage whites looking to lay eggs on my kale and cabbage, but almost none of the ones you look forward to seeing.

    Also saw a mosquito fogger truck spraying in town last night. I wonder what they use here.

    • Yeah, I wonder what they use as well, since I had just walked out to get in my truck last night and they drove by. I ducked behind the truck, but the windows were down. Mmm–I just love being doused with insecticide in the evening.

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