When the girls were growing up, we lived out at Horseshoe Bend and had a little flock of chickens. They provided the eggs we needed and did double duty as "bug prevention officers!" I'd turn them out from their coop and they would spend the day happily clucking and eating every last bug they could find. Mr. Big watched over his girls with a keen eye, nothing got past him. He was protector, boss and leader all in one package!
It's me on "Bug Patrol" this week, keeping an eye out for the black ants that I've been seeing in an upstairs bedroom window. We live on the side of a mountain so this window is like 40 feet off the ground. Why in the world would ants crawl up that far to reach a window sill? I looked on GardenWeb and saw it is a common problem caused from extremes in heat or wet weather. That's exactly what brought this on.,, last summer's dry spell of extreme heat was when we first noticed the big black tree ants in the house. Just one or two, but they are uninvited guests so I was beside myself how they were getting in and where they were coming from. When I was planting flowers along the fence last weekend, that's where I really saw them. Hundreds of itty bitty black ants.
A quick email to Ask the Master Gardener on the Farmers Co-op site and I received an answer back the same day. Did you know that ants are the #1 bug problem for Americans? If you use a spray all you do is kill the ones that are in the area. Liquid baits are the way to go. The ants carry the liquid back to their colony and the Queen, the only way to completely eradicate them. They recommend Terro's Liquid Bait Stations, a product that is made in indoor and outdoor applications. I bought both and by the second day, the ants in the sill were DEAD as doornails! The outdoor stations are placed along the fence and I hope the ants have a Big Buffet on the bait! I also bought the granules after watching a video on Terro's website. If you'd like to see how bugs can get in your house... even if you think there is NO way, watch this informative video by Terro.
Lincoln, Arkansas celebrates each fall with the Arkansas Apple Festival, but the kids at Lincoln Elementary have gardening on their minds right NOW! The Farmers Co-op furnished the Geo Raised Bed kits last year after a conversation with the school's coach where he voiced his concern about kids not eating their veggies on school lunches. The project has been a big success, not only do they love planting the garden but they're eating their vegetables!
It looks like they have lettuce, cabbage and onions out... that's a good start!
The Dogwoods are just beautiful right now, these warm days and spring showers are just what we needed. I'd like to replace some boxwoods with pretty pink azaleas along the front of the house, that's on this coming weekends to-do list... or should I say Ta-Da List? Pop over to Ta-Da's website and make yourself a handy-dandy little reminder that can be added to all week long (just so you don't forget anything) and then printed for Saturday's shopping trip! Of course it works on the iPhone!
Farmers Co-op Want List
Blackberry, Boysenberry, Raspberry, Grapes, Blueberry, Muscadines?1. Terro Liquid Indoor Bait Traps
2.Terro Outdoor Bait Stations
3. Terro Ant Killer Plus Granules
4. 10 pink Azaleas
5. Tomato and pepper plants, asparagus and rhubarb
6. Mushroom Compost
*Mushroom Compost is a must if you are planting anything right now. It's light enough to perfectly cover those tiny seeds and it gives a boost to bulbs, new plants or trees. Simply add it to the hole you plant in and cover with soil.
In the Kitchen this week, a recipe shared from Master Gardener Richard from the Lincoln, Arkansas Farmers Co-op for Peanut Butter Cake! This one is a keeper... guard with your life!
Peanut Butter Sheet Cake2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 sticks margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
In a 2 quart mixing bowl, mix together flour, sugar, soda and salt; set aside. In a saucepan bring oil, margarine, peanut butter and water to a boil. Pour over dry ingredients. Add eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.
Blend well. Pour into greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
Peanut Butter Icing
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter (can use crunchy)
1/2 cup miniture marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
While cake bakes, combine milk, sugar and margarine in a saucepan; bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add peanut butter, marshmallows and vanilla. Stir to melt marshmallows and pour over warm cake.
Specials At the Coop this week:
Fort Smith, Ar. Coop- Azalea's 3 gallon size $13.99
Van Buren, Ar. Coop- 55 gallon sprayer
$550/without boom $675/with boom