I pulled up the last of the beets this week. I canned some, juiced some and the rest will be roasted and chilled for salads. (My favorite!) The greens were pretty wilted from the heat, but chickens, rabbits and goats love them.
The mangels that I planted are still producing big beautiful leaves that I clip off and feed to the animals. I think that mangels will now be a staple in my garden. The roots themselves are huge and woody. When they finally give out, I will throw them to the chickens to peck at. As a green, they really help the egg yolks to be that beautiful deep orange color, that we all love so much.
I have a butternut squash plant that I have allowed to take over. I do not have the heart to cut it back because it has huge squashes all over it. It has enveloped a couple of my tomato plants though. This morning, I was inspecting everyone and found “evidence” of a tomato horn worm on the squash leaves near the tomato plants. Judging by the size of the “evidence” this worm is huge (scarey!). I will have to get up early in the morning with my flashlight to go worm hunting. Pray for me, I am a little scared!
I usually garden in my flip flops or ugly rubber shoes, but not right now. The neighborhood that we live in has a scorpion issue. I have seen several scorpions and a couple of black widows in the garden. Not funny, really we have them in the house too. It must be too hot outside for them. Now THAT is pretty hot! Steve goes out with a black light almost every night in the summer to hunt.
Now you all know that “peace loving Steve” will shoo a moth out of the house to keep from killing it, but he has no trouble hunting scorpions. He kills 6-10 every night on the block wall. I have been stung twice by scorpions since living here. Both times, it was in the house. I have also been bitten by a black widow. But for some reason it is the tomato horn worm, and the squash bug that creep me out the most. I think that they are possessed.
So, (sigh) before going out to work in the garden, put on your old tennis shoes. Just do not forget to shake them out first.