Monday, August 13, 2018

Harvest Monday 8/13/18

It's Harvest Monday at Our Happy Acres. I completely missed last weeks. But for this week I still am getting plenty of goodies out of the garden.
The first Lungo Bianco Zucchini was harvested along with a lot of beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and marconi peppers.
The orange/yellow tomatoes are Valencia. The smaller ones are surprise ones. And the larger one is probably Brandywine.  Also some Chinese Red and green noodle beans.

Blanched and froze two bags of a bean mix, bush, pole and noodle.

This is how I roast tomatoes to be made into sauce for the freezer for soups and stuff during the winter. I use a lot of sauce. I got 12 Cups out of this batch.

Raspberries! The fall raspberries have begun. Not too many at all. But the plants are all starting to look healthier. They need some help and amendments I think. Also the first zucchini from my second planting. The first planting didn't produce much and died from powdery milder.

Snack peppers here and a second handful of raspberries, cucumbers, black beauty zucchini, tomatoes and basil and beans.

My first ever Celery. I cut down two bunches. There is still more but they weren't the size of these. Some bell peppers, noodle beans, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Carrot mix, cucumbers and Noodle beans.

I had homemade carnitas for lunch. My husband made the carnitas, I put it on rice and topped with pickled  onions, cilantro, tomatoes, and homemade chipotle sauce. All homemade. And yummy!!!

 I ran accross several creatures during the week. This isn't all of them but the best photos!
Red Velvet Ant (not really and ant but a wasp) They have a terrible sting from what I have read and can also be known as Cow Killers.

Red Spotted Purple. I usually end up thinking this is a swallowtail until I get a closer look.

One of two horn worms in my garden covered in parasitic wasps. I throw the other ones to the birds and keep them happy while I leave these alone!

In my picking of celery I found this guy. He is still as small as the tip of my fingernail. We will put him in the butterfly house and raise and release him.
Hope you are having a fabulous gardening week! Don't forget to join me on Instagram @shawnannshomeandgarden

Friday, August 3, 2018

Mostly Welcome Garden Visitors

Have you seen the Blue Mud Dauber Wasp before? This is my first time. This is an impressive bug. Very large wasp, this one was probably more than an inch. They eat black widows! Not that I have seen any around here. I believe there are two of these hanging around my Limelight hydrangeas. They are very pretty, shiny, fuzzy and blue! From what I have read they are not aggressive. They are pretty quick flyers though, getting a snap shot of them is difficult!
 This Lacewing was hanging around my milkweed. I have Milkweed Aphids (tiny yellow plant suckers 😡) so I hope this aphid eater sticks around and takes care of them!

Last year was the first time I had ever seen these Snowberry Clearwing Moth's (not a bee). I had one last year. This year I have two and they spend all their time in my garden! One day my daughter saw one just sitting on a tomato leaf which was odd because they seem to never stop fast a humming bird, which is why they call it hummingbird moth, it hovers while it eats. Later I caught the two mating and showed my daughter. She blurted, "They had a date and the girl was late!" Cute and funny. They are a really cool creature! I love them!

I'm not sure if this is a welcome visitor or not. Not on this day, as he had a bee in his grasp. If he is going to eat bad bugs I'm all for him but if he is eating my bees....not so much. This is a Robber Fly.

 Early in the season this guy was living in my butterfly bush. I kept finding white cabbage moth wings with no body. So I moved him for fear he would get a beautiful swallowtail. I put him in the bean bed and he has been doing a beautiful job taking care of the bean bugs and bean beetles and he has grown every time I come across him. He has gotten so big and his back wings have started to turn brown. He truly is huge! And my beans look better since they are not being devoured by bean beetles! I need to find another one to put into the squash bed. I believe the icicle radishes are helping to deter the squash vine borer but the squash bugs are impossible! It would give me great pleasure to see a Mantis devouring ALL the squash bugs!

 I have had a range of Swallowtails. The Tiger Swallowtail, Black swallowtail, Zebra Swallowtail and some other black varieties that I have not seen close enough to know if they are Pipevine or Spicebush. Some of those black ones are hard to differentiate! But I love them in my garden, they are so majestic, graceful and beautiful! I have had several Tiger Swallowtails, sometimes at the same time!
 I have also enjoyed the presence of at least one Monarch that frequently but quickly visits my garden. It doesn't hang around like the Tiger and Zebra Swallowtail. They like to linger in the garden.
 This visitor is also welcome most the time, as long as she isn't digging in bare newly seeded beds. She keeps me company and keeps the bunnies away! She does however like to stalk the hummingbird feeder. Hope she never catches one!
 Oh the Bees! They are oh so welcome always! Pollinate, my friends! Pollinate!

Happy Gardening Adventures! What kind of welcome visitors do you have?