Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Spoils of Summer

Now that I've figured out to successfully grow bell peppers, I tend to be at a loss for what to do with them. This means I eat them raw quite a bit. August is high season for eggplant which continues until the frost. The tomato plants have the look of late September, nearly caput, and even the fruit have taken on the scabs of blight. Below my beloved speckled roman paste tomatoes. Despite heavy blight, they still produced, if a bit more unsightly.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


My favorite heirloom Roma (speckled Roman, above), have been pulped in the sloppy strainer contraption I bought several years ago. It's been a terrible year for tomatoes, so humid and damp that blight set in well over a month ago. It's been a very good year for green beans and potatoes, broccoli and basil. The fall cauliflower and Brussels are floating giant leaves but no sign of anything edible yet. 

Soon we leave for a weekend in Milwaukee to hang an exhibit. I'll be showing photographs, a first. I'll post the information when it's all set up. In the meantime, check out my Instagram feed (you can find it here), from which I've harvested, maybe even pulped, the exhibit's images. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

When Fruit Flies

Did you bring fruit flies home with those grocery store peaches? Have they multiplied in your compost bin or on other fruit? To get rid of them, place a day or two worth of fruit cuttings in a stainless steel bowl with a large paper towel over the top, leaving about a half-inch or so uncovered on one side. That will be the entryway. Even if you left an 1/8th-inch uncovered with paper towel, they would find their way in. Leave the bowl on the counter top over night. Do not disturb it in any way. The next morning, the earlier the better, grab a ceramic plate with a smooth bottom (so it makes a tight seal against the bowl's rim) and ever-so-gently place it on the paper towel covered bowl. Take the bowl outside, preferably away from the door you exited, and dump the fruit scraps into the compost pile.

Shake your other fruit. Did any more flies appear? If so, eat, can, or freeze fruit those that are over-ripe and repeat the process. Your kitchen should be clear -for awhile. Fruit flies will find fruit no matter where it is, lay eggs, and rapidly a few flies will become a fog of them. If the flies are not laying eggs in rotting fruit, they'll try the counter top compost bin, and lastly the kitchen sink drain. See this link for ten more traps and a way to deal with the drain.

Fruit flies are one of the most studied insects and have been used heavily in biological research. Click on the fruit fly link to read up on them (and their uncanny sex life). Below, one of the more unusual sex life of insects photos I have ever seen, thanks in part to the photographer's insert.