This morning as I was scrambling eggs and spinach together for breakfast, Muriel came in with a luna moth. It was alive, sitting quietly in the bowl that Muriel found it in. Bright green, with enormous feathery antennae, it looked ethereal, an alien on the farm. It was stunning. We fawned over it in hushed voices, and called Maeve and Dairé to have a look. Together we appreciated how delicate and impressive it was.
All farms struggle with insects. We are no exception. If its not flea beetles skeletonizing kale, its cucumber beetles on the squash or hornworm caterpillars chopping down tomato plants. They are the most destructive force that we deal with. But the luna moth was a work of art. Perhaps it started as a destructive caterpillar, but it transformed into something worth delaying breakfast for. This is the insect paradox. Their purpose often seems set against ours. In reality, the relationship is much more complex than a battle where we try to wipe out invading insects before they wipe out the plants (and sometimes I have to remind myself not to think of it that way).
This farm we live in, this world we create, is in a delicate balance. We push away insects, but still they return. Frequently, its frustrating to find that some plant that you put so much time into has been destroyed. But we reap the benefits too. Birds are everywhere on the farm. Swallows often nest in the barn, swooping for insects above our heads. We saw a flycatcher land in the grass next to the picnic table. They thrive on the insect ecosystem. Compost heaps are alive with worms, turning over the soil for reuse. The bees love the sacred basil and plants. They hum with activity, soon to be honey.
And sometimes, if we’re lucky, there will be a luna moth waiting for us in the barn, resting in the shade as a reminder of the tiny and alien world that that we see every day and rarely appreciate in its full complexity.
In this week’s share…
Our friends at Friday Pie Company are offering some delicious pies this week, including Apple Pie, Strawberry Rhubarb, Blueberry and Savory Turnovers featuring Milkweed Chard and herbs. You order directly from Friday Pie and they will deliver to the farm on your pick up day, Tuesday or Friday. Click on the link.
And here are some recipes…
Garlic Scape Salad Dressing: Mince Scapes, add a pinch of salt, lemon juice and olive oil (add extra garlic if you really like spice!), and mix well.
Baked eggs with beet greens, chard, or kale