Category: The Garden

Secrets From The Insect World That'll Make You Want To Hug A Bug

If you’re one of those people who thinks that insects and worms are nothing but icky, we’re about to blow your mind. 1. When you get up close, you learn that bugs are downright cuddly. Cutest bug ever 2. And that we should spend less time being scared of them and more time being jealous. Take caterpillars for example: their only job in life is to eat. Cute Caterpillar! 3. Oh yeah, and they’re more beautiful than we can even perceive. Insect wings appear transparent to us, but they’re actually full of colors that our eyes can’t detect . Beautiful Wings of Color 4. Some bugs are all about giving. Like ants. They have two stomachs, one for them and one to feed others. c’ANT’ u leave me alone?! 5. They even take care of other species of insects. They’ll sometimes shuttle aphids from plant to plant, and they’re so caring that leafhoppers will often leave their offspring to be raised by ants. Ants and Aphids 6. Then there are some bugs that just want to dance. cute insects 7. Or hang out with a buddy. Sepasang Lantern Bug 8. Or hold hands with their beloved. cute insects 9. Did you know that honey bees are the ultimate team players? They make all of their decisions collaboratively! Bumblebee 10. And that worms communicate via snuggles. 11. Insects are also our helpers, especially when it comes to doing the dirty work. Take dung beetles for example. When vast herds of cattle started ruining the land in Australia with their droppings, dung beetles were called in to manage the problem. Dung Beetle Have Right of Way sign 12. We’re not making this up: Hello Kitty caterpillars exist. cute insects 13. And so does this beetle with a smiling human face on […]

Conserve Water & Control Pests with Barrel Gardens

GOSHEN >> Approaching the Ortlieb’s Goshen home, even the mailbox sits in a barrel. Husband and wife, both master gardeners, have filled their backyard with a massive vegetable garden all grown out of barrels. Adorning the backyard of the five-acre property are roughly 800 barrels, by Grant Ortlieb’s count. Filled to the brim with compost, the 40-inch polyethylene barrels stand about four feet apart and cover the yard, the various vegetables poking from the tops. A few houses down the street, a neighbor referred to Ortlieb as simply, “the barrel guy.” Grant Ortlieb had the idea 10 years ago. He’d been gardening for years but altered his approach as a way to control water. Grant Ortlieb initially had ten barrels catching water off the roof. He took a few of those barrels, filled them with compost and used them to grow tomatoes. “It was real easy,” Grant Ortlieb said. “They’re high and dry, the mice don’t eat them, they’re easy to find at the end of the year.” Grant Ortlieb said that he started off with a couple of barrels and it was so successful that he just kept adding more. Now, the sprawling garden has overtaken the Ortlieb’s backyard, with three types of vegetables in each barrel. This is called companion planting, placing romaine lettuce with cucumber and tomato, sunflowers with tomato and basil. Grant Ortlieb said he grows plants from “A to Z.” “Asparagus to zucchini,” he said. Despite the amount of food in their backyard, the Ortlieb’s do not sell or bring their crops to farmer’s markets. “We just give it away,” Pam Ortlieb said. “We could sell it. If people wanted to come here and buy it, it’s here.” She said they usually wind up giving the vegetables away, giving them to friends or trading […]