Wednesday, August 31, 2011

irene, cabbage worms and hornworms, and surprises


last saturday before irene hit vermont, my husband and i checked in on our gardens and harvested what we could. dried dill seed, small ears of corn, zucchini, and a luffa sponge that we thought for a split-second was a zucchini. by the time we realized what it was, we had cut it and put it in our basket.

it's always good to inspect your gardens regularly, impending storm or not, as you might stumble upon something like a hornworm that can really wreak havoc. we've had a time with the hornworms this year, finding them on green peppers and potatoes as well as tomatoes.

cabbage worm evidence

we also found evidence of the dreaded cabbage worm.


can you see them? they blend in so well.

so, we stopped harvesting and made a hot pepper spray for our brassicas.

hot pepper spray

you can find a similar recipe here.

we also found some wonderful surprises while on our rounds.

striped dahlia

after two years of trying, i finally have a peppermint stripe dahlia. isn't it a beauty?


we've had this orange tree for years. it's traveled with us to denver, north carolina, and then vermont and has never produced fruit until this year. talk about surprising!

even though our gardens made it through the storm fine, others in my community were not as lucky. one of my favorite farms lost everything due to five foot flood waters. the entire state has been affected. please keep vermonters in your thoughts. it's been a difficult week.


  1. do you keep the orange tree indoors? is it a dwarf variety? i love the smell of orange blossoms, even without getting fruit.

    glad that you are safe, but it heartbreaking to hear of so many losses back east.

  2. it is a dwarf variety and we bring it in before frost and keep it indoors until about june.

  3. wow that horn worm looks amazing, must be hard killing them, so cute.

  4. my heart goes out to you guys. luke & i have been thinking about you so much!

    & what a beautiful garden... those dahlias... i can see why you tried so hard. stunning!

    congrats on the citrus :)

  5. A few weeks ago, I had a cathartic cabbage worm pulling session in my broccoli row. Life was much better after that. :) That dahlia is gorgeous -- congratulations!!