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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Be careful what you wish for . . .

One of the gardeners most dubious tasks is attracting pollinators to the garden. Especially veggie gardeners. We swear we are not going to mess with flowers every season, but our desire to have as many bees and wasps around to help us increase our harvest usually finds us embracing anything they may be attracted to. This year I gave in. We're talking cosmos, susans, bachelor buttons, milk weed, zinnias and dahlias. That said, I was richly rewarded. At one point in the summer I counted more than 15 different types of winged pollinators in the yard. I have created such an amazing oasis in fact that some of them have decided to take up residence . . .

in my grill.

The wasp nest in the back I noticed when it was quite a bit smaller one day when I had to change out the tank. They were kind of doing their own thing going in and out and didn't seem to mind all of the ruckus I was making, so I let them be. Well two nights ago when I was just finishing up grilling, the grill flared up and out from the side of the grill came a brigade of about 8 bees who swarmed around me in disapproval. A closer look yesterday showed that the wasp nest has increased dramatically in size, as well as a small bee hive. So though I managed to make it inside unscathed that night, it's safe to say that my grilling days are over until I figure out what to do. I've had many offers from friends armed with wasp spray to help me take care of them, but I worked so hard to attract them that I fear the karma it might bring next season.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Coming soon . . .

Fall Tomatoes! Sun Gold to be exact. This guy was so prolific during the spring and early summer, it's no wonder it will be the first to bare fruit for the fall.

Pumpkins! This one I'll still believe when I actually have one of these white Casper beauties carved on the front steps for Halloween, but it's fun to watch grow. And though you can't see them in this photo it is already producing male blossoms daily and there are a few tiny females forming as well!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Basil, Basil, Basil.

I have basil running out of my ears. In early spring I planted a few plants in the front garden and they very quickly began to bolt. I left them because of the large amount of pollinators they were attracting. So now they have set seed and the basil is popping up everywhere. So what do you do when life gives you basil? You make pesto!

The final product: one ice tray full for freezing.