Around the farm right now, there are lots of signs that fall is coming. Let me name a few: the goldenrod is blooming, the black gum tree leaves are turning red, the field tomatoes (except the Sungolds) are finished, the arugula is coming in, and most notably we are eating our supper before 9 p.m. at night! Well, that last one really means the ‘days are getting shorter’.
A friend in the garden...
As I harvested the arugula this morning, I realized that there are not as many tiny holes in it this week. I also noted as I harvested, that a number of tiny toads hopped out from underneath to avoid my trimming. My personal gardening philosophy revolves around the ecological balance that can arise in a healthy garden between garden pests and garden beneficials. I notice these little toads all the time in the garden, and only this morning put two and two together of how helpful these little critters are to us! My deduction…these little guys (and girls – or are they both? I’ll research that one another time) have swarmed in to this little arugula patch and found some meals here of tiny insects that were nibbling on our arugula. I’ve seen this in other instances around the garden (in particular the potato plants earlier this summer) where early on, the garden pests are in large numbers, but slowly, as the beneficials (be they toads, other insects, birds, etc.) find them, their numbers decline to a point where they are only sharing in the bounty of the garden, not destroying the garden.
Interesting to me as well, because I don’t recollect seeing this before, the sweet potatoes in the field are blooming! The plants appear extremely healthy and have lovely pink blooms on them. Sweet potatoes are related to the morning glory that most would recognize, so the bloom looks familiar.