Saturday, August 28, 2010

Caterpillar destruction and jam

Last month's blackfly infestation disappeared as just quickly as it appeared, no doubt partially due to the timely arrival of the Red and Black Brigade, pictured. Would that were the case with the caterpillars. Many many broccoli-destroyers still hunt, despite my efforts to turn them into little green smears. It doesn't help that they are bigger and obviously now baby butterflies. Nor does it help that they are full of slime: squishing them is singularly unpleasant. I can no longer rub them off: I have to pick them off individually and step on them. On the positive side, my broccoli is much more intact than last year's. Negatively, the part they love to eat the best are broccoli heads.

And my baby cabbages, safe from slugs and snails on my garden bench? Not safe from butterflies! Three times I have gone out and rubbed off eggs from nearly every single seedling. I think the butterflies who choose seedlings for their offspring are very irresponsible parents. Don't they know caterpillars need to eat for a couple of weeks before metamorphosing? They'd be lucky if my cabbages lasted a day under their progeny's onslaught.

And the scores in the Jam World Championship:

First round (July 2010):

Strawberry jam: 8 jars.
Second round (August 2010):
Blackberry jam: 8 jars.
Sloe and apple jelly: 4 jars.
Final round (TBA):
Rosehip jelly.
Apple butter.
Other preserves, possibly vegetable based.

1 comment:

Gilbrides said...

Great job on all the jellies! That is really fantastic! I must admit tha tI am not very good at making jams and jellies. I usually make jams and not nearly often enough. I really forget how yummy homemade bread and jam is. I've got to make that my goal for next week: bake homemade bread and freezer strawberry jam. (mmm my mouth is watering already)

PS. I turned cream into butter on Tuesday.. .that's a plus right?