18 August 2007

Black Swallowtail Larva on Parsley

This is how gardening with the wild creatures in mind (in addition to the gardeners) can be a little tricky. I planted a whole row of parsley so that there would be plenty for us and for butterflies. But the stand was covered with SO MANY black swallowtail caterpillars that I couldn't bring myself to cut any -- even when I needed a bunch for a special recipe. To Mendy's dismay, I brought storebought parsley home to spare ours for the butterflies. Next year I may have a row of parsley and a dill plant in every raised bed in hopes of having enough for us all.

I heard a country story I like:
A visitor to an old farmer's garden noted that a groundhog was living nearby.
"You gonna shoot that groundhog?"
"Nah," the farmer replied.
"Well maybe you ought too. He'll eat your garden up," the visitor warned.
"Mister," the farmer explained, "If I can't grow enough to feed myself and one little groundhog, I wouldn't be much of a farmer."

Mostly I feel the same. But if you change the critter to a raccoon....hmmmm, all bets are off!


Tina said...

Cute! I've been planting fennel for years and I've yet to eat any--the black swallowtails get all of it. But I don't mind. At least I can have all the parsley to myself!

Leigh said...

Good to hear from you Tina -- I hope to try fennel next year. I love how it smells. And next year, still MORE parsley and dill so that maybe I'll get some.
Thanks again!