Something Robert and I have observed this summer that is of concern is related to the butterflies. We have huge butterfly bushes in our front yard. Typically they are loaded with butterflies –so many butterflies they cannot be possibly counted! However this year, we have one pair (that’s two) yellow and black butterflies. Sometimes there is a black and blue pair that makes a visit, but not always. This one pair is all that we see consistently. I wonder why? We do not have a Smart Meter on our house. We keep our cell phones on Airplane Mode except to occasionally check messages. It’s not because of Wi-Fi or 5G as we live at the top of the mountain and our home has “hard-wired ethernet” for the sake of the bees and butterflies. Perhaps something elsewhere has interfered with their migration pattern? The butterfly bushes are blooming as always. We just don’t understand . . .
One thing I do understand better this year is the hesitancy of some people to join a CSA where by design another person chooses the vegetables they will be eating. We always try to do our best and give our CSA Members the best quality produce available in any given year. Actually, our members get better veggies than what we eat since we choose to eat the damaged produce rather than to put it in the CSA Boxes of paying customers. The reason I have gained this understanding of hesitancy can be tied directly to Covid-19!
With the advent of Covid-19, French Broad Food Co-op, Whole Foods, and many other stores have been offering door-to-door or curb-to-car delivery of groceries. It’s not that I’m afraid to go into the stores; that’s not the reason at all. It is just that with the convenience being offered, I have discovered it extraordinarily useful to have my grocery shopping done for me! I was hesitant at first. I wondered if the avocados would be the proper ripeness or if my frozen items would arrive frozen and my cold items cold; but to my extreme delight, everything is working out exceptionally well. There simply are not enough hours in the day to get done what I need to do. I have discovered the convenience of a personal shopper to be worth the cost. So now I understand . . .
We see some beautiful peppers in the garden. We are growing bell peppers and a long-shaped pepper. Both varieties start out green. Some will have started to turn colors before being harvested; but for the others, you can experiment. If left on the counter, they will ripen like a tomato and turn red or yellow or perhaps orange. They have nice thick walls for the most part and are very sweet. Pepper’s have a large amount of Vitamin C! Enjoy these peppers raw or sauteed or roasted–whatever is your pleasure. Once they are rusted or sauteed, they do freeze well if you feel you want to save some for the winter months. We like to slice some very thin before sauteing and them on our homemade, gluten-free pizzas throughout the year!
Rain? Yes, we continue to get more than our fair share. And the next couple of days don’t look a whole lot better. Say a prayer for your vegetables and your CSA Farmers.
Continue to look for Italian eggplant and Asian eggplant and sweet peppers. Also, tomatoes for slicing and small, round bites of goodness in orange and red which we call “The Farmer’s Candy.” There may be beans or cabbage or potatoes, depending on the day’s harvest. If you find an ugly cucumber or a rare patty pan squash or zucchini, consider yourself one of the fortunate ones.
As that look at the front yard I see the Sedum Autumn Joy starting to turn a light-greenish color mixed with pink which is a sure sign falls on the way. By this time of the year, we have made peace with the weeds and I’m able to say the some of them are actually beautiful.