When you come in contact with something toxic

America the beautiful

America the beautiful

As you know by now I have a vegetable garden.  I also have a large backyard, something I have never had in the past.  This time of year it’s a lot of physical work.  Where to start?  What are my priorities?  How do I overcome obstacles?  To make a long story short, last week I came down with some bad poison ivy.  It started on my face with a swollen eye, and slowly broke out all over the rest of my body.  Each day was a new surprise:  my torso, the back of my legs, my back.  The doctor had a miracle cure called Prednisone.  I’d like to invoke another analogy in this post about our presidential race.  Sometimes when I read the news it feels like a poison is spreading all over our country.  We are told to hate, to fear, to fight back, and to mistrust.  This too is popping up just when you least expect it.  The cure is more complicated than a daily pill. Continue reading

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. . . and beetles, oh my!

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In my delight at my vegetable garden success I forgot that when you have a garden you also have some uninvited guests.  These are known as pests.  I put up a fence around the garden to keep the four legged ones out, but it’s impossible to keep out the insects.   Recently I noticed that I have Japanese beetles feasting on the green bean foliage.  At first this didn’t bother me, but lately they have been gobbling up a lot of leaves.  So, I went into action. Continue reading

Bees and butterflies

DSCN1260Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I moved to southeastern Pennsylvania from the Washington, D.C. area about a year ago.  I had a much smaller house and a much much smaller yard.  It was pretty typical for the D.C. suburbs, but here in western Montgomery County my yard is a lot larger.  One of the other things I have here is nature, and lots of it.  In addition to the large variety of birds,  we have rabbits, deer, foxes, moles, ground hogs, and, I’m told, an occasional  bear is seen in town.  A recent post was about my vegetable garden.  One of the reasons for its success is the bee and butterfly population.  When they’re not in my garden, I enjoy watching them from my deck.  This post is about my butterfly bush. Continue reading

The green giant, or how many ways can you cook a zucchini?

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As the first of my harvest comes in I am reminded of what it must have been like to live off the land.  In the summer you ate whatever was in season.  You went out to the garden and that was what you ate.  No one at peaches in December or asparagus in September.  For the past week it has been all about zucchini at my house.   Soon it will be something else, and if I’m lucky, an assortment of vegetables.  Unfortunately, when you have one zucchini you have ten.  They don’t cooperate and ripen one at a time.  There is no way I can eat all these veggies, so I am coming up with imaginative ways to eat, store, or repurpose it.   This post is about the green wonder. Continue reading