Perhaps you can tell, I've been loving my garden this year. In fact, I'm loving it so much I've been doing a bit of late-season planting, unusual for me. Last year, something evil ate my kale plants, so I waited until late in the season to plant this giant box of kale for J-son this year. It has just gone crazy with leafiness. Ahhh! Beautiful!
I've spent many enjoyable moments surveying my edible domain, delighting in the birds, the bunnies, the butterflies that seem to enjoy the space as much as I do. It makes me feel like I have put together a healthy place.
From this, you can tell that I have no idea what I'm talking about.
In fact, I've been barreling head-first toward Kale Catastrophe. Erica at Northwest Edible wrote a warning that I read (but didn't fully appreciate) in April of this year:
You can always tell the non-gardeners. They’re the ones who see the bland white butterflies with the black spots on their wings fluttering over my cabbage plants and say things like, “Ohmygosh how pretty! Butterflies!”Poor, poor, misguided fools. . . .
Because those pretty white butterflies that I was patting myself on the back about were marshaling their forces to do some major kale-i-cide. Erica shows a bunch of pictures of the little cabbage worms that are the larvae of these Death-in-Disguise insects, but she doesn't show any pictures of the damage that they do.
Well, I've got pictures.
Sigh. Yes, I have pictures.
I've decided to avert the worst of kale-i-cide by using pest-i-cide. Organic pesticide, of course, but still a bit of a dagger to my "ooh, butterfly" heart.
Next year, I'll use something called "row cover", which is basically a net cloth over the garden. So I'm learning, I hope. And the lovely thing about gardening is that I do get to start over again every year.
But the kale. And the butterflies. Can't we just all agree to get along?