Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Last spring when we were getting ready for our Easter Egg Hunt
Hollyhocks are kinda like weeds to me right now, but I sure do like this color.
Hooee in the flower bed just before the peonies started to bloom.
Cole and Tag hanging out in the garden. Tag would eat the nasty rolly-pollies.
One day I asked Sierra to pick a zucchini. She texted me this picture and asked which one.
This bowl has lettuce, cilantro, poblano peppers, onion, and tomatillos in it.
Added to rice and garlic to make a tasty/hot green rice dish for dinner.
Cole was helping to bring in the squash harvest a few weeks ago. Summer said, "Looks like the Grimm Reaper dropped some zucchini."
This was the overflowing cucumber & pumpkin patch. I got A LOT of cucumbers this year, they just didn't ripen on the days that were convenient for me to can them into pickles.
The pepper and tomato plants. We had lots & lots of peppers this year.
And finally the beets. It is hard work to pickle beets. Good thing nobody else at my house likes them because it was such hard work, I really don't want to share them.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
So my neighbors, Mary and Bonnie, who are also sisters introduced the neighborhood to raising caterpillars into butterflies. I have always wanted to do this. I had no idea it was happening right here in my own neighborhood.
Mary and Bonnie are neighbors with a big vacant yard between their homes.
They had gathered caterpillars as kids in Northern Utah.
They were thrilled when they were out in the yard this past summer and realized that there were Monarch butterfly eggs on the milkweed growing in the field.
They started gathering eggs, feeding caterpillars, and hatching butterflies.
By the dozens.
After searching milkweed plants all over Mapleton and Springville, they discovered a very interesting thing: they could only find eggs on the milkweed plants in the vacant yard. CRAZY!!
Everywhere I went in Mapleton and Springville, I was constantly looking for milkweed plants and checking for eggs.
On July 24, Bonnie came over and asked if I wanted to hunt for eggs with them. So, I went over and found about 18 eggs and a couple of tiny caterpillars. Sad to say, I did not have success at my first attempt.
But, Bonnie was going to Nauvoo in late August and turned over a bunch of her tiny caterpillars for me to take care of while she was out of town. It really does take daily care to keep these guys alive.
I was afraid I would murder more caterpillars. But, they all survived. Well, except one. He started to make his chrysalis and then ran out of steam and just died. so sad.
Then I discovered that there was milkweed growing in my very own backyard.
Jackpot!! I didn't have to go clear across the street to get milkweed. I sent Cole out to pick milkweed one day and he came back in the house with leaves that had eggs on them. What a surprise.
I think we had a total of 8 butterflies that survived. We have learned a lot of statistics about Monarch butterflies.
It's pretty fun to farm caterpillars, but it is time consuming. Good thing they have all gone to Mexico for the winter. We'll be looking forward to spring when the Monarchs return and we have milkweed growing again.
One thing we learned in the farming process: you cannot feed your caterpillars milkweed that has been sprayed, it will kill the caterpillars.
Also, caterpillars will eat each other if they run out of food.