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Master Your Garden By Barbara Kozlowski, Master Gardener

Ah, September! The beginning of the fall season, well not really. We still have a growing season for cool-weather vegetables like lettuces, spinach and other leafy vegetables that wilt or “bolt” in the summer›s heat. My tomato and pepper plants are still flowering and will produce additional fruit until the killing frost occurs.

I noticed the other day a collection of webworms on one of my trees and then began to notice more of them around the area. If you encounter a nest of webworms amongst the foliage of your trees, prune the entire nest out of the tree or shrub and destroy it. If left alone, adults will emerge after overwintering pupae in late spring and lay eggs. Groups of larvae cover foliage with webbing and feed inside it throughout  midsummer. Up to two generation can occur in a season. With the burning regulations in effect, don›t try to burn this nest. Instead, spray it with Btk (Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki), which is a microbial biological control method. Check with your local nursery for information on purchasing Btk or look online for additional information. This is used to control larval insect pests.

After the Btk is applied to the plants, the caterpillars will continue to feed and ingest this toxin and eventually die. This will not harm the beneficial insects, but be cautious about its use as butterfly larvae are caterpillars and will be infected by the Btk. Be sure to read the label and follow directions to be most effective with destroying any insect pests.  This information is from The organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control – A Rodale Organic Gardening Book. If you don’t have this book or one similar, I highly recommend purchasing one. They carry invaluable information.

Our Ellicottville Farmers’ Market certainly has a wonderful array of fresh vegetables, local honey and delicious-looking baked goods. It’s open every Friday from 2–6 p.m. and a wonderful way to visit with friends. Every week I seem to find a different vegetable, which sends my mind to create a different dish or look up an old recipe. This past week, I picked up a head of cauliflower. Cauliflower is a vegetable in the cabbage family and contains glucosinolates, the sulfur-containing compounds that may help protect against a number of diseases, including some cancers. One of my favorite cauliflower recipes is for roasted cauliflower.

The Cuba Garlic Festival is Sept. 15–16 in Cuba, N.Y. Cuba is a short distance from Ellicottville and just off I-86. It’s a very unique festival, featuring the “Stinking Rose,” which is garlic. There are places to purchase garlic for your kitchen use, to plant in your garden, food vendors, plus a whole lot more. There is also a wine tasting. It’s one of my favorite festivals outside Ellicottville. Hope to see you there!

 

Roasted

Cauliflower Tikka

by Barb Kozlowski

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss 2 cups of cauliflower florets with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Spread the cauliflower mixture on a cookie sheet and roast, turning once, until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. This brings out the sweetness and nuttiness in the cauliflower. It makes a super snack treat and a way to have everyone eat vegetables. Bon appetit!

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