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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 23rd and 26th

The Early Worm gets the Tomato

The tomato hornworm, note its little red "horn".  These fellows (yes, all pests are masculine) can do serious damage in a tomato patch quickly.  Not to say that I want many of them, but I am always happy to find a few each season frassing around.  I find them very intriguing...

...colorful and so strong!  Pulling them off the tomato plant sometimes results in a small battle including mandible clicking, full body waling and sometimes even pinching (all done by the worm, not me). 

They are not small. Well, they start out small and rapidly grow to five inches while they devour entire leaves and halves of tomatoes.  You would think that a 5 inch long worm with a horn and a girth of your thumb would be easy to find, but actually it is a bit like a "Where's Waldo" book while one is searching for these extremely well camouflaged worms.  It is generally their frass (poop) and/or the clicking of their mandibles that give them away.  These are the once "insect" pest that I will not squish with my hands.  Crushing them under foot is the method of choice, but beware, they have a lot of pressure built up inside those tight bodies!

Okay, on to tastier photos.  (Although you may not be happy with these either as they are not actually a part of the share.  Sorry!)  But they are sooo beautiful and Zach and I are excited as this is the first real harvest we have gotten off these 5 year old trees.  YUM!!!

This Week's Loot: corn!!! radish, greenbeans, cucs, zucs, ss, chard, beets, carrots, peppers, onions, potatoes and herbs...

A small note about the corn...speaking of not be alarmed if you find a small colorful corn ear worm at the top of your corn.  Last year I had to cut the tops off of every ear because I had so many.  This year they are not so bad, so I am leaving it up to you...


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