Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Busy Time

There's a line in a song that says, "If you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans". This quote always makes me think, but it has never seemed truer than right now. There is so much going on around here that I am having a hard time keeping up with it all and every time I think I have things figured out life throws me another curve ball. Summer is in full effect and what started out as a trickle of harvest here and there, has turned into massive amounts of produce. All winter long I have been dreaming of these days when the veggies would be ready. I have bookmarked, highlighted and dogeared tons of recipes for dinners and for canning. Now I find myself frantically flipping through the pages of recipe books and canning books or magazines then racing to the store for that one last thing that I forgot. There are pounds of food in my fridge and on my counter frequently reminding me of what will be wasted if I do not keep up. It also does not help that my 4 year old little guy has picked this time to start pushing boundaries and misbehaving while his older sister is in some sort of 8 year old emotional meltdown every couple days. The laundry pile grows at an alarming rate only to be out done by the number of dishes I find myself buried in all the time. Ahhh, the dog days of summer and the count down to winter.   I have to remind myself to take a minute to hug a child, jump in the pool or kick up my feet and drink the fresh squeezed lemonade my girl made for me. Even if my tasks cannot always be put off until tomorrow they can wait a minute here and there for me to stop and remember why I do all of this. How are you handling this busy time of the year?

Thursday, July 3, 2014


I am pretty patriotic. I love holidays that celebrate our country and those whole helped build and protect it. I tend to shed tears on Memorial Day and go all out on 4th of July. I am so proud to finally have a big flag that waves from our front porch everyday. This weekend there will be celebrations, BBQ's and many other festivities that I will miss out on due to my work schedule but I am happy that at the end of each day I will get to come home. I will get to kiss my family goodnight and in the morning hear about all of the fun things they did the night before. It is my goal this weekend to focus on all of the little things I can do to make the most of the time I have with everyone rather than spend my time upset that I do not get enough time to do everything with them. I am going to cook up a storm and leave my family well fed as they head off to their adventures and then when I go to work hopefully I can help those patients who have no choice but to be stuck with me have a little better of a night/weekend. 

I wish you all a safe and happy weekend. Happy 4th of July and remember to make the most of the moments you have rather than waiting for the perfect moment when you have it all. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cabbage Worms

I was in the midst of a great nights sleep a couple of nights ago when I began having the most terrible dream. In this dream we had some friends over and I was showing them all the progress in the garden and we were sharing techniques. We sat down to spend time together and when we looked over at the garden again almost everything in it had been eaten down to the ground. I was so upset as it was too late in the season to replant and all of my hard work was gone, just like that. I jumped up from the bed a looked out the bedroom window to make sure it was just a dream. The plants were all there and accounted for but my dream was not completely unfounded. For weeks now I have been battling garden pests and I guess my subconscious was focused on the worst case scenario.

If you follow on Facebook you may have heard me mention my ongoing fight against cabbage worms. The spring started out with a huge cabbage worm population which was eradicated by team effort. I would pick off as many as I could and the birds would feed the rest of them to their babies. It was good team work and for a couple of weeks there was not one cabbage worm to be found. Then once the babies grew and left the nest the birds stopped being as helpful and I was left trying to handle the problem. The worms are not actually visible at this time but the leaves of the cabbage have the tell tale bite marks and the stems are cover with minuscule little eggs. I tried a spray of oil and herbs which has worked for me in the past on the fall crop but with the heat of the summer all it did this time was turn some of the leaves brown. I have read online that BT can be used but I have had zero luck finding this organic product in my area. Thus I have resorted to another old-fashioned  idea in hopes of saving what I can.

A gardening friend of my moms passed a technique that the Amish farmers in the area always use to protect their cabbage crops and my mom was so excited to share it with me that I wanted to give it a try.  Here is what I did. I took a half cup of flour, regular ol' all purpose white flour, and mixed in 2 tablespoons of baking soda. I took the mixture and dusted the cabbage heads. It was like combining my two favorite things baking and gardening. It has been about a week now and I have not seen any new holes in the leaves but for all I know the little boogers could be filling up the entire hard of cabbage. I guess I will find out when it comes harvest time whether or not this really works but I'll keep my eyes open and update if I find out any pressing information as time progresses.

What do you do to save your cabbage from cabbage worms? I know a couple gardeners who gave up on cabbage completely because of this problem and I don't want to become one of them.