Oooh Mami!

Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Just got back from my favorite eco-responsible pick up lunch to go spot, Pret. I am hoping to do lunches from home soon but not there just yet – will start next week. So I went to Pret, being frugal and ready to order only a cup of soup when I noticed their Wheel of Fortune posted on the wall. I asked if they’d spin it for me. They obliged, and it landed on the equivalent of a Price Is Right car: a frrrreeeeeee lunch! Everyone clapped as I collected my sandwich, snack, drink, and soup (the soup I still purchased since it didn’t come with the lunch). Mushroom risotto soup – might not look like much but it made me plenty happy today and supplied my Friday dose of umami. Oooh, Mami! Thank you Pret!


Goat, Anyone?

Gotta love Seattle.  I’ve actually never been there, always wanted to go.  Last fall I met a wonderful Seattlite (ok, I know that’s wrong but sounds so right to me).  She keeps me up to date on the happenings there.  Here’s a novel idea from some west coast revel gardeners: use goats instead of pesticides to keep your land free and clear of unwelcome visitors.  Check it out here.

I’ve heard of other natural ways to keep pests away.  My other favorite is from the Self-Sufficient Gardener, who regularly emphasizes that pests are just a natural part of gardening, not all are bad, it’s important to know the difference between the good ones (beneficial) and harmful pests, and that one of the most important methods of pest control is planning.  A resilient garden grounded with healthy soil and packed with diverse and sturdy (think heirloom over hybrid) plants will put itself in balance.  Check out some quick advice from him on how to deal with pests here.

QUESTION: How do you deal with pests?  Have you been seeing any this year?  Do you plan your garden around them or just wait to see what shows up?  (I have to say I’m guilty of the latter in that I do only minimal planning – such as placing marigolds around my tomato garden – but just wait to see what shows up for the rest).  Do you use any organic pesticides or other products?  Go ahead … gimme the dirt!