Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Bug Yeller

I know she looks sweet, but she is really quite fierce. Well, not fierce, exactly. Her name is Davita, but she goes by various other names that may not be repeated here. She can be quite loving, but what gets her into trouble is chewing on anything that looks like a string. That includes string, iPod earphones, electrical cords, fringe, sweat pants ties, shoestrings, yarn, and more.

Her role in our little homestead is to yell at bugs. She doesn't really catch them, although if they are slow enough and within reach, she might eat one occasionally. Mostly, she just yells at them in this strange, chatty, broken squeak.

The problem is this: the bugs don't listen.

We still have some flying gnats, although I've trapped and drowned most of them with my apple cider vinegar trap. I expect they'll be gone soon. But now, of course, we have the Asian ladybeetles attempting to invade. In fact, our sliding glass door strip is littered with their dead bodies.

I'm still nursing my pepper plants along in what's left of the garden. Each has at least one pepper growing on it, and a couple of them are soooooo close to being large enough to pick! I've had the kitty litter buckets off of them for the last few days, and as long as the temperatures stay in the 40s-60s range day and night, I'll let them breathe. I'm watching carefully for any impending frosts, and will probably simply cut my losses and pick the peppers before then.

Tonight I chopped up 12 peppers--9 green and 3 gypsy peppers--from last weekend's farmer's market. They're in the small freezer in 1/2-cup packs, and tomorrow I'll put the bags in a larger Ziploc in the chest freezer. I also purchased several herbs at this weekend's farmer's market: parsley, sage, rosemary, and lavender (nobody had thyme, so I can't sing the song). The sage is spinning in the dehydrator as I write this; tomorrow, in will go the lavender. I don't like to dehydrate more than one herb at a time; I want to concentrate their oils and scents rather than mix them. I am, however, looking forward to trying some recipes with lavender, perhaps even some lavender sweet tea. Mmmm.

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