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organic gardening

September 22, 2005. Today is the autumnal equinox. The first day of fall. Today there is an equal length of daylight and night. In southern New England we can anticipate about three more weeks before the first frost. Chores in the garden are mostly confined to harvesting and preparing for winter. Recent rains have rejuvenated some crops , but for others it was too late. We also supplement our harvest with wild grapes, beach plums

 I found this Parsley Caterpillar munching on some celery that we are letting go to seed. I let it be, since it is the larval stage of the black swallowtail butterfly, and it doesn’t appear to be doing irreparable damage.  It is bad tasting to predators as it absorbs toxins from the plants it eats. It also eats Queen Anne's lace, carrot, parsley and dill. It over-winters as a chrysalis. It is found in southern Canada and throughout the eastern United States, as well as the southwestern states and Mexico.

organic gardening

organic gardening

This Praying Mantis sits motionless on a head of fennel seeds waiting for something tasty to venture too close. One of the more well known predator insects, the praying mantis is indiscriminate when it comes to feeding habits. They will eat beneficial and pest insects alike. They have occasionally been reported to catch small reptiles and humming birds. Bats are probably their most common enemy, and they seem to exhibit wild, spiraling flight patterns when bats are active in the area. I don't believe in introducing them to the garden, but I am happy to see them when they appear.
Our cayenne pepper is still producing well. It is drought tolerant, but it definitely responded well to the rains. The petunias are also amenable to dryer soil and make for an interesting cover crop under the peppers

organic gardening

organic gardening

In January, when the garden is covered with snow, this cupboard will remind us again of why we grow our own food. Jars of tomatoes, marinara sauce, condiments and jellies, extend our enjoyment of organic gardening well into the winter.
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