Memphis Backyard Farmer

Okra Is Coming!
July 17, 2014, 9:56 pm
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Okra!Okra bloom


Fruit Fly Frustration
July 4, 2014, 9:30 pm
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IMG_20140703_083959The more fresh fruit and vegetables we eat, the more fruit flies we have to contend with. They piggyback on grocery store fruit and multiply like crazy once they get to the house. In years past they were overwhelming. They’d not only swarm fruit sitting out on the kitchen counters, but also around the garbage can, compost containers, and sink.

I found this little tip that works wonders for keeping them under control, and as I prepared this week’s batch, I thought I should share it with you. Simply take a small, shallow bowl (these Pyrex bowls work well, but ramekins work well, too) and pour in a half-inch or so of apple cider or red wine vinegar. Then take a drop – really, just a drop – of dishwashing liquid like Dawn in the vinegar. Place the bowl next to an area where you’ve noticed a lot of fruit flies. I’ll typically place mine next to the garbage can or close to a bowl of fruit. That’s it! As you can see by the picture above, this works great.

The mechanism, if you’re interested, is that the fruity vinegar attracts the flies and the dishwashing liquid breaks the surface tension of the vinegar so that rather than floating on top of the liquid, the fruit flies sink. They aren’t poisoned, they’re drowned.

I hope this little tip helps you like it has me. If you have any tips like this, please share!

Absence Makes The What Grow?
July 1, 2014, 9:56 am
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I took a few days and traveled to East Tennessee over the weekend for a wedding. It was gorgeous there, beautiful cool weather, perfect for some lake time. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, Memphis was under a deluge: rain thunderstorms, flash-floods, the works. I arrived home wondering what the house, rabbits, chickens and plants would look like on my return. Imagine my (pleasant) surprise to find everything lush, green, and blooming.

You may complain about the rain this year, but don’t be surprised if I suddenly punch you in the throat. My garden, and beautiful, thick sunflower, corn and soybean fields across the state would argue that this year, finally, Memphis has had some perfect weather.