Monthly Archives: December 2013

Urban Gardening-Ron Finley-New Year Thoughts

Urban gardening is becoming the in thing to do.  Have you ever heard of a “food desert”?  A food desert is defined by Wikipedia as  “an area where affordable healthy food is difficult to obtain, particularly for those without access to an automobile”. In our inner cities people suffer from a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables. I discovered the Youtube video below about Urban Gardening and Food Deserts. Watch it! Ron Finley is very inspiring and entertaining.  He says  “Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do!”

People in our inner cities want fresh vegetables and “growing” experiences. Community gardens in vacant lots can provide lots of fruits and vegetables for everyone. Besides the food, the gardening provides exercise and the opportunity to build communities. Master Gardeners are helping wherever they can to get these gardens started.

Make an Urban Gardening Commitment for the New Year

If you live in a city contact the local Master Gardeners to find out what opportunities exist in urban gardening. Then volunteer to help. Here is link to find  Master Gardeners  in California.  It will be an enriching experience in more ways than one! If you have your own yard make a commitment to plant some Urban Gardening-Grow Flowersflowers, bushes or vegetables this year. If it feels overwhelming start off small.  Learn all about what you decide to plant.  Ask any question to the Ask An Expert of the University of Maryland Extension Service and they will send you an answer.  As time goes on you will learn more about what you plant.  Hopefully you will decide to plant more! Get out there this spring and dig in the dirt and plant seeds! Beautify your environment and enhance your dining experiences with fresh vegetables. And be sure to watch this youtube video. Ron Finley is amazing!

Soybean Looper Moth

A soybean looper moth has emerged from my caterpillar eating sage! See my post on the caterpillar eating sage for the beginning of this story.

I checked on the chrysalis almost every day to see when the moth/butterfly would emerge.  I was hoping that once it emerged I would be able to identify the caterpillar that had eaten a lot of my sage that I was growing indoors.  You might ask why I was growing sage indoors?  We were trying to eat more kale because it is so healthy.  I found a great recipe for kale soup that has a lot of sage in it.  So I decided to grow sage indoors so that I have it available for this recipe.

Soybean Looper Moth Emerges!

One day I checked under the leaf and there was a hole in the chrysalis!  Oh no–it has emerged and is somewhere flying in our house.  I was so disappointed to have missed it.  Then I noticed something black under another leaf and there it was! It must have recently emerged because it seemed its wings were still stretching out after having been crammed into the small space.

Now I Wanted to Identify It

Soybean Looper MothI realized that it was a moth.  It had some iridescent gold on its wings and some very interesting markings on its wings that were silvery/gold.  They were small but very beautiful.  One marking was shaped like an upside down question mark.  That mark enabled me to fully identify the moth.  Unfortunately you can’t see the iridescent gold in the picture.  And the markings look white instead of silvery/gold.  It happened to be a warm day so I put him outside on the arugula in my cold frame.  I will know later how he survived if I find inchworm caterpillars eating my arugula!

Here is another image of the soybean looper moth.  And here is a link to that delicious kale-sage soup.