Are Wasps Beneficial for Fruit Trees?

plum tree

My plumbs are growing nicely. But…


This wasp nest presents a dilemma…

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With the general lack of bees, I’m always trying to support whatever bee/wasp colonies I can. While wasps aren’t the handy dandy pollinators that bees are, they do some pollinating. AND they eat lots of other pesky insects.

So, even though they are more aggressive in general than bees, I usually take a “live and let live policy.” BUT– the problem is that they also feed on fruit.

So this wasp nest has to go.

By |2016-10-24T09:56:26-04:00June 9th, 2013|My Garden / Recipes|0 Comments

Saved by Spring!

Three months later and half the time I still find myself going to fill Kiera’s food bowl… I’ve had enough human and animal loss in my life to know there’s nothing that can be done except to wait out the sadness.

The last few weeks, I’ve been busy planting my vegetable gardens, and pruning my grape vines and fruit trees. The thing I love most about Spring and gardening is always the renewed hope and excitement I feel at getting to watch what I plant grow. So imagine my delight, when I went to check for signs of fruiting and spied this!

cherry tree

For the first time… CHERRIES !!!!!

By |2016-10-24T09:56:26-04:00May 19th, 2013|Life, My Garden / Recipes|4 Comments

Sick? This’ll Fix You Up Quicker Than Chicken Soup!

I’ve been a little under the weather, and wanted to make myself a healing soup that wasn’t the usual boring Chicken Soup. This Seafood Curry Chowder, with its Indian spices (which helps open breathing passages) and chicken broth (general fixer-upper elixir) gives a one-two punch!


It’s so rich and delicious and special–and SIMPLE to make–that you could serve this at any dinner party and get rave reviews. It’s my family and friends’ all time favorite soup!

1 fillet of flounder (about 11 ounces)
1 fillet of halibut, scrod, or cod (about 8 ounces)
1/2 pound medium-size shrimp (10 to 12), shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon curry powder, approximately
2 cups […]

By |2019-01-10T11:02:07-05:00January 17th, 2013|My Garden / Recipes|1 Comment

How to Prevent Cats from Using Your Garden as a Litter Box

I’m finally at the end of my gardening season. Harvesting is complete and garlic for next year has been planted. As I ready the rest of my beds for next season with weeding and composting, Finn is having a field day! Imagine his excitement at seeing pristine rows of dirt all fluffy and ready for his “deposits!”

Don’t get me wrong–I love Finn. I just don’t love the potential health problems his natural cat behaviors present for my garden. And, as I am in a ferocious problem-solving mode, I’ve decided to foil Finn once and for all!

At first, a simple thick straw mulch worked well enough. But not for long. So I […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:27-04:00September 30th, 2012|Finnegan the Coon Cat, My Garden / Recipes|2 Comments

Yeah… No

I was raised by a father who taught me how to be creative, resourceful, and self-reliant. There’s little I can’t fix and not much that I can’t build–up to and including completely renovating a house by myself.

All the tools in the garage (and there are lots) are mine. In other words, I’m handy. And I love to invent things and improve on things that are less than perfectly designed.

Which also makes me a little bit of a gadget freak. I’m always looking for the next perfect tool or solution. So I thought I’d create a separate category for reviewing products that I’ve tried. Some will be fantastic and […]

How to Tell When Garlic Is Ready to Be Harvested

garlic plantAs I mentioned recently, I get three kinds of calls from family. Last week it was my sister asking how to tell if her garlic was ready to be picked.

Where we live (in the Northeast), we plant hard neck varieties at the end of September into early October, which means our harvest time is roughly mid-July to end of of July. This is my sister’s first year of planting her own, and she wasn’t sure when to pull her garlic.

So, Missy, this is what your plants should look like when you harvest. You want […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:28-04:00July 15th, 2012|My Garden / Recipes|2 Comments

I’m Thinking Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

The garden is lush with all the rain and warming temps. It looks like it’s going to be a bountiful season. We already have lots of lettuce and herbs, peas and beans, kale and broccoli, and of course all the June berries.

Looking for a quick something for dessert this evening, I came back with these. I was thinking a nice strawberry rhubarb crisp would be refreshing.

strawberries in a basket

But Graidy was thinking fresh strawberries… […]

Almost Time for Planting….

seedlings in hot house

In the Northeast, we use Mother’s Day as the official opening for our gardening season. For those of us who want to get a jump on growing, starting seedlings a month or two in advance is a way of life.

Before I can plant these outdoors, I’ll start hardening them off by putting them outside in a sheltered sunny spot for a few hours a day. That will help lessen the transplant shock.

Then I’ll direct seed the rest of my garden, so that I’ll have a good rotation of vegetables in varying stages of production throughout the growing season.

Only another gardener would understand how exciting it is to see […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:29-04:00May 6th, 2012|My Garden / Recipes|4 Comments
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