Thursday, August 16, 2012

The garden mid August

I've been cutting Bronze Fennel for Meg the past few mornings for her class room caterpillars. We decided they had enough fennel this morning. I did a quick count of the cats in our garden, 31 was what I came up with, Meg has 22 in her class room. So 31 cats here eating up the fennel like crazy, I think we have enough. In past years we have had 4-5 dozen cats on our fennel. Those of you growing dill or parsley for Black Swallowtails, you never have enough, Bronze Fennel grows to 6 foot lots of food get some.

These Black Swallowtail cats were not posed in the garden, lots and lots.
Donkey, he's some very cool yard art Meg bought me for my birthday last month.

Stray cantaloupe from our compost. It is huge. Please tell me how does one know when these are ripe? Alice?
The stray Butternut Squash, we have 4 huge ones like the one shown above, note it is 3 inches wide at the base to give you a sense of scale. We have 4 more coming o n like the one shown below, it is 6 foot up in a willow tree. This is a monster plant.
A few local notes about local things going on.

 First Paperhand Puppets are having weekend shows in Chapel Hill, we plan on going Saturday. This year it is "City of Frogs" can't wait to go, we'll do a post on it for sure. They'll be preforming every Friday Saturday and Sunday until September 9th at the Forest Theater. And the following weekend(Sept 14,15and 16) at the Museum of Art in Raleigh. Please don't miss it.

This coming Sunday is the Durham Butterfly Count, I'll be leading a group looking for butterflies. We'll have 6-7 parties of people out looking for butterflies. Contact me if you want to go.

Oh, the last thing public schools teachers just sign new contracts for less money, longer hours and smaller class budgets. Way to go Republicans, tax the rich and make sure teachers, policemen and firemen get paid what they deserve!


Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Love your donkey! Great addition to the garden. My parsley has been untouched from any caterpillars. Lucky for me I guess.
Cantalope-- I used to lift the melon every day, just enough to create a slight pull on the vine stem. If it falls off the melon is ripe...otherwise wait another day.
This political season is worse than I ever remember it being. Public servants are now the 'evil' leeches on society?? Shame on the Republicans.

tina said...

The caterpillars are really neat! I don't grow fennel here but need to put some in. I agree with Janet on how to tell when a cantaloupe is ready. It will easily pull away from the stem. if you have manually do it then it is not ripe.

Rohrerbot said...

You are so lucky to have all of those caterpillars! Love the shots of them. And your future to be produce looks delish. My mouth is watering at the idea of cateloupe:) I may actually run to the store tonight to pick some up and put in the fridge for a treat later on:)

Alice and Stuart said...

Randy! gotta love those caterpillars. We usually have some on our carrots but I don't recall seeing any this year. As for the melon it will color up and blush a tan color to let you know it's ripening. Yours still looks very green. You don't really want to see any green on the exterior; hopefully it won't rot before then! We had a lot of rot with all the recent rain. And yes, it will slip off easily when ripe too, and have a great smell. Good luck! Wish we could grow some butternut; the squash vine borer always gets ours.

Les said...

Bronze fennel - the gift that keeps on giving.

My teaching wife actually got a raise this year, of course it was more than counteracted by the increase in health insurance fees.

Andrea said...

I am a bit scared of real larvae but your photos are beautiful than scary! How i wish we can grow those squash. Can they also be eaten when young as vegetables? Your rockmelon or cantaloupe will smell when already ripe, it is just a little difficult to bring your nose to it in the vine, haha! It softens a bit too!

Kim and Victoria said...

Lucky you, that donkey is adorable!
So many caterpillars!
Yeah, I'm still waiting for all those great jobs to open up from all the rich "job creators".

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Wholly cats! That's a LOT of swallowtail caterpillars. I've only seen one all season, and I have an 8ft tall fennel plant! You are so lucky! Your squash and melons look great, and that donkey is really adorable too.

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