Well I have finally found a way to get my husband to eat beets. He now eats beets chips and asks for more! I have to say these are truly scrumptious. Frying them takes away that slight dirt like flavor beets are known for and replaces it with a slightly sweet flavor.
We also made chips out of the greens but beware. The greens cause the oil to pop and splatter. The kids love them but mom can only take so much of that so we don't do to many of the greens.
Yippy! The gardens are recovering and have started to really produce after all the hail! Yes, it put us behind but we are grateful for what has recovered and so are our CSA members!
Our tomatoes in the green house are growing like crazy. Most of them are taller than me at 5'4". We've got trellises going everywhere. I'm pretty happy about their size at this point. They were planted late because we had to wait for the green house to be finished. We waited quite some time for some supplies that were on order. The tomatoes weren't planted until about a week into June. Next year we should be able to start them by May and they will be much further along this time next year. We did pick the first ripe tomato on Sunday and more are starting to ripen. Yeah!
Have you ever seen a tomato horn worm? They are actually caterpillars and they are GIANT. I hadn't seen any since I lived in Colorado growing up. They were quite common there. I was just fine with that too because they are darn good at devouring tomato plants.
I just found out that they are also good at devouring grape vines. My husband spotted the first one when we were walking through the herb garden. We have two grapevine growing up an arbor at the entrance to the herb garden. Thankfully they weren't in the vineyard.
Tomato Horn worms can grow to be up to 4 inches long. They get their name from their horn like tail.
When they are full grown they drop off the plant and burrow into the ground to pupate. They emerge as a Hummingbird moth, also known as a Hawk or Sphinx moth. They are said to prefer tomato plants and to only feed on plant in the nightshade family-tomatoes, pepper, eggplant, and potatoes. I guess they need to add grapevines to the list.
I think that the kids found between ten and fifteen on our poor grape vines. Actually the grapevines are recovering really well and you wouldn't even notice now. Thank you LORD!
It was fun for the kids to see. They were amazed at the size of them.
Hand picking them is the most effective way to get rid of them organically. They make a perfect snack for any birds you might have. Trust me, it beats squishing them. You are sure to have it all over you if you go that route. They are just to big for that. If you don't have birds then you can always drop them into a bucket of soapy water.
I'm not sure why the one on the bottom is flesh colored. I've never seen that before. It kind of creeps me out. It looks like a finger. You can see their horn-like tails in the picture on the right. They are such a pretty color don't you think?
May all your plants be free of tomato horn worms!
Garlic is one of my favorite things to grow. Every spring when it comes up it reminds me that summer is not far off and I'll be outside planting soon. It also seems to withstand hail pretty well. Aren't we happy about that! The stem got beet up pretty bad but the bulb was safe and sound several inches underground.
I started my garlic 4 years ago and have been building it up since then. Each year saving more and more back to plant and thus increasing my stock.
After the garlic is pulled it has to sit out of sun and rain for a few days to a week. When they are done curing then the roots and tops are trimmed. They are then ready for storage. In the fall we will bring out the some of the bulbs to plant for next summer.
In North Dakota it is best to grow a hard-neck variety. This is a long day type. Long day refers to how many hours of sunlight the garlic need. Long day type need more sunlight hours so they work great in the northern parts of the country where summer days are long. Short day is just the opposite and need fewer hours to thrive. They are grown in the southern stated.
The hard-neck refers to the top or stem. It is indeed very hard. It must be cut off with sharp knife or kitchen shears. Hard-neck garlic can not be braided like soft-neck garlic for this very reason.
A few weeks ago we harvested the garlic scapes. Garlic scapes are the blooms of the garlic. They are very funny looking things. The stem grows up several feet then curls over and around with the bloom on the end. You cut them off about eight inches below the bloom and that is your garlic scape. It can be used just like garlic or you can pickle it like we like to do. It is absolutely delicious spread on a sandwich.
They look like miniature garlic cloves don't they. We are excited to grow garlic from these tiny little bubils!
Happy garlic eating!
P.S. If you are looking for the post on the hail damage you can find it after the post on multiplier onions. Just keep scrolling down.
Hello, I'm Jaci. I love wandering around in my gardens admiring God's creation. I'm passionate about whole foods and clean eating. I look forward to sharing my farming and homestead adventures and helping you reach your gardening goals! If you have any questions then don't be shy, I'd love to hear from you. Send me a message and I will be glad to help!