Hooked on Needles

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Summer Gardening

Here in New England we had a very wet and rainy spring and most of summer. We were optimistic however, and went ahead with planting our little gardens for summer vegetables. The extended wetness did a number on most of the tomato plants in this area, ours included, and they ended up looking pretty terrible. But we didn't give up on them.

This past Sunday afternoon, I went out to pick some tomatoes and carrots to have with dinner and found some interesting things besides. I usually just save these kinds of pictures for my private collection of family photos and email a few to parents and siblings, but since my knee decided to be uncooperative since Sunday night, I have not had the opportunity to work on Hooked On Needles material as much as I usually do. So here's a little glimpse into our gardens and their fruit...

Summer GardeningThis interesting character was found Sunday afternoon just as you see him here, sitting on this dead branch of a tomato plant with all these little white pellet looking things all over his back. It must be some sort of caterpillar that will turn into a beautiful butterfly, but I don't get the white things. They look like some kind of parasite. Strange. We checked Tuesday afternoon and he was still in the same place and in the same condition. I don't really know what to think about this. I'll let you know if anything further develops. (Read the comments below to find out what this is! Nasty! Totally nasty!)

Summer GardeningJust below the plant with the caterpillar I noticed this weed which I thought was quite pretty. I was just coming to the decision to leave it there and see if it would flower when my husband came over to look at the caterpillar. He noticed this and a few other weeds and started yanking them out of the ground. I guess I won't be letting you know about any further developments on this one!

Summer GardeningThis was our first harvest of carrots. My little 6 yr old Sean loves to plant carrots every spring, and then pick them late in the summer. We break off the green tops and throw them down the hill, bring the carrots inside and give them a good scrub to get the dirt off. No peeling required since they are fresh out of the ground and have no dry skin on them. I wish you could smell their aroma fresh from the garden. There is just nothing like a fresh picked carrot! They were delicious that night, steamed, then served with just a little butter.

Summer GardeningAnd here are four of our tomatoes that were picked Sunday afternoon. These were ripened right on the vine and were so delicious.

Summer GardeningBut this one was the prize winner! It was HUGE and RED and SO JUICY! You just can't beat tomatoes picked right off the vine! In fact, I'm enjoying a slice of one in my turkey sandwich as I write this! Delicious!

My notebook where I write all the things I want to do for my website has quite a list in it right now, so hopefully very soon, I can start working towards getting some of those things done and posted here for everyone. I have a few things in the works: the granny square afghan I showed you the other day, another oddball baby blanket called Tiny Dancer, my swap gifts for the Friendship Bag Swap and the Stitcher's Angel Swap, and an art smock for my favorite little carrot farmer who needs it for his art class at school. Plenty to do and show, so stay tuned!

Happy Stitching!

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  • The big catipillaris called a Horn Worm, and it eats tomato plants, earlier in the season, you probably would have found more under the leafs. A certain wasp kills these worms by laying their eggs on them. These are the white things you see on the back. I'd probably dispose of them somehow if I were you. At least it's the end of the season and you can look for them next year.

    By Anonymous Jane Kattau, At September 2, 2009 at 10:01 PM  

  • I really hate to gross you out, but it's like this... that picture on the top, with the tiny cocoons sticking out all over the caterpillar.... they are the larvae of parasitic wasps. The wasp attacks the caterpillar, and lays its eggs inside. Then, the eggs hatch and the larvae eats the inside of the caterpillar, and then, when they pupate, the cocoons stick out of the body of the caterpillar.

    It may indeed be fascinating, but at the same time, it's really gross to think about.


    By Blogger Mary Corbet, At September 2, 2009 at 11:03 PM  

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