The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Swiss chard leaf eater

Swiss chard leaves eaten by an insectI've been known to tell people that swiss chard is the easiest vegetable to grow since nothing seems to eat it.  I won't be saying that anymore. 

You see, an absolutely adorable, striped insect showed up around the swiss chard this summer, and I left the critter alone because it was so cute.  Only weeks later did I catch the chomper in action and figure out why it was so plump.

The disillusionment made me so mad at my buddies that I smashed every single one, so I don't have a photo to show you (nor can I figure out what the bad bug Katydid eggswas.)

Even though it set me way behind my frozen greens allotment for the summer, my swiss chard insect taught me a good lesson --- identify, identify, identify!  Now, whenever a new insect shows up in my life, I pull out the books and figure out what it is right away.

During my weekly bug picking and smashing expedition Monday, I came across these fascinating grey scales shingling a dead asparagus twig.  Ten minutes later, I knew that they were mostly harmless --- just katydid eggs to serenade me to sleep next year.  Thank goodness!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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