Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Revenge ON Japanese Beetles

The blueberry bushes were beautiful.  They were loaded with quickly ripening fruit and juuust about ready to pick.  Then one day, the Japanese beetles arrived.  They immediately attacked my blueberries!  And this is what happened....

The attacked the berries (and the leaves a little bit) and bit into them and ate a little bit from each one.    Those bites, combined with the very dry weather we've been having, caused the berries to dehydrate on the bush.  And I don't know about you, but I think that chewed up blueberries are not appetizing at all!

I don't like to use pesticides at all and I put out my trusty Japanese beetle traps. 

You can see that the bag is getting a nice load of beetles, and this is where my revenge begins.  

I take the bag off the hangar and pour a couple of cups of water down the bag.  There are small holes at the bottom so that the water will drain out and still keep in the beetles. 


...I dump the bag in the poultry yard and feed them to the chickens and ducks.  They go nuts for them!

The water poured into the bag part is VERY important.  It keeps the beetles from flying away and accessible to the birds.  I learned (from experience) that you'll find yourself standing in a disgusting virtual whirlwind of flying Japanese beetles if you decide not to add the water!  

Next year, I'll plan to put row covers over the berries when they're green.  That way I can get away without using chemicals and still have a decent blueberry crop. 

Here is an idea of the Japanese Beetle lifecycle:


When I saw the beetles, I was able to cover my grapes before the beetles got to them and so far they look good!

You can see the ripening grapes under the cover and now I just hope that powdery mildew doesn't rear it's ugly head.  

By the way, I've noticed, and I don't know if it's a byproduct of the increased amount of protein that the chickens are getting, that I'm getting much larger eggs lately!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Naschmarkt: Vienna, Austria

Our wonderful friend and tour guide, Dany (a resident of Austria and dear friend from the time we lived in Washington, DC), took me and my daughter to the very famous and beautiful Naschmarkt during our stay in Vienna, Austria.  I think the pictures speak for themselves.  You can find just about anything you want, and then some, at this incredibly diverse market!

The Naschmarkt is Vienna's most popular market. Located at the Wienzeile over the Wien River, it is about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) long.

The Naschmarkt has existed since the 16th century when mainly milk bottles were sold (as milk bottles were made out of ash (wood from an ash tree), "Asch" (German for "ash") led to the name "Aschenmarkt"). From 1793 onwards, all fruits and vegetables brought to Vienna with carts had to be sold there, while goods arriving on the Danube were sold elsewhere. Nowadays, one can buy fresh fruit and vegetables from around the world, exotic herbs, cheese, baked goods such as bread, kaiser rolls, and torte, meats, and seafood. There are also many small restaurants which offer e.g. sushi, kebab, seafood, traditional Viennese food such as Kaiserschmarrn or Palatschinken (compares to rolled up crepes) and stalls which offer clothes and accessories. Since 1977, the market extends further along the Wienzeile to an adjacent area every Saturday, when a flea market takes place there. (Source: Wikipedia)

I do believe, that if I lived near here, I would never again find it necessary to shop in an enclosed store!