Political Commentary

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

From the Gardens Registrar: Wild Parsnip; Raspberry Pests; Bird and Nature Hike on Sunday; Rhubarb-Orange Jam; No Workday

Hello Gardeners,

WILD PARSNIP – Unfortunately, wild parsnip is now turning up in our gardens. This is a very invasive plant which has become widespread in Wisconsin. It’s a tall plant, with yellow flowers. It’s also dangerous, because touching the plant with bare skin leads to a serious and painful rash. If you find this in your plot, be sure to wear gloves, long sleeves, and long pants when you pull it out. Or use a sharp shovel to sever the root below the ground. Here’s a website with information and pictures:  https://sewisc.org/invasives/invasive-plants/72-wild-parsnip

RASPBERRY PESTS – Spotted Wing Drosophila is a tiny fruit fly which attacks raspberries and other soft fruit. The adults lay their eggs in the fruit, and then when the larvae hatch, they eat the fruit. We definitely have these insects in the gardens, and they are active now. The best way to keep them from breeding and spreading is to pick your raspberries frequently – don’t leave over-ripe berries on the plants or on the ground. If you think your berries might have flies, put them in the refrigerator after picking them – that will stop the larvae from growing. Fortunately, it’s not dangerous to eat them, and they’re so tiny, you won’t even notice them. https://hort.uwex.edu/articles/spotted-wing-drosophila/

BIRD AND NATURE OUTING – On Sunday, June 24, there will be a guided walk around the UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve’s Class of 1918 Marsh. This is a free, family-friendly event, which will be hosted by UW Limnology Emeritus Professor John Magnuson.  Bird and Nature Outings at the Lakeshore Nature Preserve occur every 4th Saturday from 1:30-3pm and are sponsored by the Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Meet at UW parking lot 129 (2004 University Bay Drive). The marsh is on the other side of the drive from Picnic Point. 

RHUBARB-ORANGE JAM – Simple, good, and it uses rhubarb. You can make half the recipe, to make one jar, and just keep it in the refrigerator instead of canning it. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/86346/rhubarb-jam/

WORKDAY – We’re not currently planning a workday for this weekend, but I’ll send an update if we schedule one.


Happy Gardening,  

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