April 20, 2014
Battling Japanese beetles PDF Print E-mail

Yes, it rained Friday at Farmer’s Market, but we had a good day in spite of it. Most of the vendors did quite well. We had a good variety, including fish, corn, cabbage, peppers, onions, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, honey, and herbs, as well as baked goods. I bartered my cinnamon rolls for herbs. I like to barter instead of using money, just like the old days. I had a lot of English cucumbers, which are longer and thinner than the burpless variety. Those I didn’t sell became bread and butter pickles the next day.

My youngest son helped me work on the fruit trees Sunday morning. Some protection poles needed to be removed and some roping protection replaced. We trimmed broken branches and cleaned up the area. He replaced the bag for the Japanese beetle trap, although I thought they were mostly gone. I haven’t seen them around the blackberries much after we removed two big bags full. We killed four beetles on a ripe pear, and discovered they had chewed most of the leaves on the apricot tree. They must like certain fruits and leaves. Picky bad critters, I wish they would go back wherever they came from.
I promised you more information from Mother Earth magazine. When you buy fruits and vegetables from a market, you need that to be your last stop or have a cooler if you have to travel very far. The heat in your car can spur growth of potentially deadly bacteria on fresh produce, plus cause the food to lose flavor and nutritional value. When harvested commercially, some are covered with ice before they leave the fields. There are some vegetables called “heavy breathers”: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cherries,  corn, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, parsley, raspberries, scallions, snap beans, spinach, and strawberries. These fruits and veggies respire and lose their nutrients, so eat them soon after purchase as they don’t keep as well as others. Go check out your local Farmers Market, and pick up some fresh eating. There won’t be any bacteria or bugs on these products, and you get to visit with the grower. Here is a zucchini recipe, since it’s in good supply now. Zucchini Pancakes: 2 cups shredded zucchini; 1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour; 2 teas. baking powder; 1 teas. pumpkin pie spice; 1/4 teas. salt; 2 large eggs; 1 cup plus 2 T. low-fat milk; 2 T. melted butter; 2 T. light brown sugar; 1 teas. vanilla extract; 1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans.     Put shredded zucchini on a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to remove moisture. Whisk flour, baking powder, spice and salt in large bowl. Whisk eggs, milk, butter, brown sugar and vanilla in med. bowl. Mix in dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Fold in zucchini and nuts. Cook over med. heat turning once, using 1/3 cup batter per pancake. Serves 5. Enjoy this and the cool weather. See you next week, behind the Garden Gate.