Our Caterpillars This Winter

Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 7.13.39 AMWe are so lucky.

Charlotte found caterpillars on the parsley plants and brought them to her home for safe keeping while we figured out how best to help them survive the winter.

Then, the power of Facebook came into play and through another friend, Kylee Baumle, a butterfly book author and expert, advised us that the caterpillars would survive the winter outside (even here in the Northeast) in the chrysalis stage.

Here’s what she wrote: “If she found them on parsley, they are most probably caterpillars of the Eastern Black Swallowtail. These will likely stay in the chrysalis stage all winter. I’d just leave them outside in an area where they can pupate safely. (In other words, not get stepped on!) They don’t migrate and will be fine all winter in their chrysalis stage.”

I like leaving nature in nature’s good hands. Thank you, Kylee. If you haven’t read her book: The Monarch: Saving Our Most-Loved Butterfly,  here’s a link to Amazon.



Can Butterfly Caterpillars Survive this Late in the Season?

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 2.13.28 PM.pngOne of our gardeners found several caterpillars in the parsley patch.

She has taken them home to watch them them transform from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly.

We don’t know if the butterflies will be able to fly south at that point.

Has anyone raised butterflies before to know the timing of things?

How long do they remain a chrysalis for example?

Any suggestions?


A Rainbow Over the Community Gardens


Thank you to the artist who sent this drawing of a rainbow over the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens to me.

I don’t know who did this extraordinary and exuberant artwork, so I can’t thank you in person or I would.

I love it.

Saratoga Bridges Harvesting for EOC

Today a group from Saratoga Bridges cleared out their raised bed and brought the Swiss chard and corn salad they grew to the EOC food pantry.

They also harvested the heads of the sunflowers they grew this year. The weather couldn’t have been nicer. Next week, the annual rye will be planted and Saratoga Bridges will be coming again to water. Thank you.


Frosty Morning marks the End of Growing Season


Last night’s temperature dipped to 29 degrees, and our garden showed the impact this morning.

The icy crystals on the remaining plants and herbs reminded me of crystallized flowers that decorate cakes.  It is very pretty to look at as the frost clings to the edges like lace on a party dress.

It’s time now to clear the beds, we will be sowing annual rye next week and tucking the garden in for the winter. The compost is scheduled to be delivered and the bags will be placed on gardener’s beds on Thursday.

I will be in the garden Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday mornings.  If you are available to help organize the shed and a few other chores, I would appreciate the help.

We tallied the volunteer hours logged and some gardeners haven’t volunteered for the six  hours of service required of every gardener, this would be a way to make up the difference. Remember, you have to have your hours in to be eligible to keep your plot for next season.

See you at the meeting tomorrow, Wednesday night, 7 p.m. at Spring Street Gallery, 110 Spring Street.

Warmly, Natalie


Girl Scout Artist’s work on T-Shirt

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 8.07.44 PM.pngMae Austin’s sunflower drawing took first place in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens art show and one of her prizes was having her art work printed on a T-shirt.

Last night, at the Girl Scout leaders meeting, Mae, who is seven-years-old, received her T-shirt.  She was very happy.  It was her first art show, she said.

Her mother, Kim, said Mae was a very good artist.  We can agree. Pictured above is Mae with her mother and the winning design.