I don't know what they really are, I just call them evil. Actually, I think they are beetles. They look very similar to stink bugs. And they came into my garden ravenous. They seem to prefer the tomato plants. They will chew up all the tomato leaves then reluctantly move on to other plants. Last year was a nightmare. They were innumerable, hungry and unstoppable. All my tomato plants were covered in them! I called my neighbor in desperation and asked her what to do. She said to try water and vinegar, or water and dish soap, and if that doesn't work, I'd have to resort to chemical warfare. Ralph and I found the water and dish soap suffocated them. We sprayed and stomped them. They came again. We sprayed and stomped. They kept coming! I refused to use any chemical controls. I figured if I was growing food for healthier meals, I wasn't going to feed my kids food I grew with chemicals. So, last year, I harvested only a handful of tomatoes before the beetles killed them all. This year however, they haven't come in the hordes of last year's invasion. Mostly I pick them off by hand and stomp them. I sprayed a little water and dish soap, but hand picking them has been easier. In the last few days, I've only found a few each evening. Hopefully this is a good sign and they won't come back with a vengeance!
Meanwhile, the garlic and cabbage are doing great!
The sunflowers continue to bloom magnificently.
The two largest pumpkins are ripening quickly!
And this same single plant is setting at least three more little pumpkins!
It's a big plant!
The tomatoes survived the mini invasion of beetles, and are rewarding us with beautiful, ripe, tasty tomatoes! Nothing like fresh home grown tomatoes!
The Black Eyed Peas are putting out bean pods now. I can't wait to cook 'em! There are so few of them at this point that I have to save them up. They dry up quickly and store so easily.
The bag on the left contains the dry beans, and the one on the right are being stored in the fridge awaiting more fresh beans to make a nice little pot-o-beans! These beans are at their best when you fry up some bacon and mix it in with the cooked beans. Oh so good! Perfect companions.
The tomatoes above represent the few which have survived a day or two, but they'll be eaten real soon!
This is a chick pea salad which is well complemented with home grown tomtoes. This recipe is quick, easy and delicious! I found it in a recent Woman's Day Magazine.
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 2 Tbsp lime juice, fresh
- 1/2 tsp salt, I use sea salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 can (16 oz.) chick peas, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
The recipe calls for toasting the cumin in a pan for a minute, but I don't bother.
In a small bowl, wisk lime juice, salt, pepper and cumin until well combined. Slowly add the olive oil, wisking until blended.
Place onion in a large bowl and pour in dressing. Place celery, tomato and chickpeas on top of onion without mixing.
Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.
Add feta to bowl, toss to combine.
Serve and enjoy peacefully as you slowly savor the bright clean flavors!
I had no feta on hand, but it didn't stop me from enjoying it for lunch today anyway!
The kids had their favorite lunch, open faced PB&J sandwiches on homemade wheat bread. And I enjoyed a lunch fit for a queen!
Life is good!