A friend shared oodles of peaches with us that we turned into jam. Imagine this mid-winter!
Our windowsills and any open surface are routinely covered in produce waiting for processing - which sometimes makes cooking a challenge in a small kitchen - but we are beyond thrilled with all this pure food...no chemicals, no pesticides, no GMOs....just sunshine, water, plants and their pollinators.
All the milkweed we grew for 2017 sold this past week to several different monarch raisers, which made us so happy for the caterpillars and for the plants which really didn't want to be in pots anymore. We are seeing our fair share of monarchs here now and lots of caterpillars, which is encouraging.
Viceroy caterpillars munched through some of our young cottonwoods, which responded with more leaves. It's such a cool butterfly and plant so I made a video.
Steve found our first Giant Swallowtail caterpillar this year on our Hop Tree, which is in the Citrus Family (Rutaceae). I checked our Prickly Ash (also Rutaceae) and found another. We are beyond thrilled! This specific butterfly is what we hoped to attract when planting their caterpillar food plants. Success is so deeply satisfying. What you do in your yard and with your land makes a HUGE IMPACT on local wildlife. Videos are becoming a thing, I think.
We also made a video highlighting the seed crazy American Goldfinches and the fabulous American Plum. There is so much coolness here we can hardly stand it!