WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — I wrote earlier of D. Tallamy’s newest book, “Nature’s Best Hope.” The chapters in this book include “Shrinking the Lawn,” “Are Alien Plants Bad?” and “What Have Weeds Done for Us Lately?”
The chapter to which I’d like to draw your attention is “Restoring Insects, the Little Things that Run the World.” Tallamy’s main point is that for biodiversity, we must begin with diversity of insects. And to do that we must know what plants are the most beneficial for insects. He then asks us, for the sake of practicality, to “narrow our focus” to those insects that “have the greatest impact on terrestrial ecosystems: those that contribute the most energy to local food webs..insects that are larger, more numerous, more edible and more nutritious than most other insects –and those responsible for most of the pollination required by plants” (pg. 130).
He means caterpillars, “the mainstay of most [North American] bird diets.”
This chapter is packed with beautiful photographs of various caterpillar feeding birds, including those feeding their chicks. But the focus of the chapter is the discussion of which plants are the most advantageous for supporting caterpillars. As he notes in his first book, “Bringing Nature Home,” he identifies the oak tree as the tip top best plant to support food webs.
He reports that “in the Mid-Atlantic region [the oak] supported 557 caterpillar species” (page 144). This is astonishing. But Tallamy recognizes that not everyone has room for an oak; this chapter contains loads of information about how to think about and makes decisions about what to plant to support the food web that will work in your space and in your zip code.
He includes how to find the two data bases that have been created to help us with making these decisions: 1) Native Plant Finder (http://www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder) and 2) Plants for Birds (https://www.audubon.org/native-plants).
I’ll write a bit about the second part of this chapter in the future, but for now I must get this book back to our Carnegie Public Library so you can check it out for yourself.
Nature Inspired Photography (Cathy Coldiron) will join the market this week as our community guest. Cathy, a native of Fayette County, plans to bring various sized prints of her photography for sale. Most of her beautiful photos were captured in or near Fayette County and showcase birds, animals, butterflies, moths, flowers, and trees.
The Market is open Saturday morning from 8:30 to noon. It is located in the municipal parking lot on the corner of South Main and East East streets. SNAP EBT food benefit cards and credit/debit cards are accepted. Those using the SNAP EBT card for food purchases receive matching dollar “Produce Perks” tokens ($1 for $1) good only for fruits, vegetables, and food producing plants. So,”buy one, get one” for up to $25 every market day. Five dollar coupons will be available again for Fayette County Farm Bureau members at each Saturday market; these can be spent at both the Wednesday and Saturday markets.
The following list contains the names and products of the vendors that expect to set up this Saturday. Other vendors may participate as well.
Engeti (Alana Walters): pies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, yeast rolls, bread, cookies, sugar scrub.
Gerhardt/King Farms (Kevin Gerhardt & Jeff King): Super sweet corn, new potatoes, slicing tomatoes. cherry tomatoes, zucchini and squash.
Greens & Greenery (Katrina Bush): Produce (and plants) grown using organic practices (pesticide and herbicide free) including cucumbers, green beans and cherry tomatoes. Lots of fresh garlic.. Raw unpasteurized local honey, strawberry jam. Sourdough crackers, baklava and buckeyes.
Jim’s Premium Ground Beef (Jim Hobbs): Premium ground beef in assorted packages (patties, bulk tubes).
Julie G’s Cookies (Julie Greenslade): Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, ginger, snickerdoodle, pineapple, sugar, macadamia nut, peanut butter, peanut butter jumbos, lemon bars, peanut butter fudge and Texas sheet cake cookies.
Slate Hill Farm & Orchard (Greg Hood and family): Buckeye Gala Simmons apples —Beautiful deep red apple with strong aromas and crisp flesh and sweet taste. Idea apple for cooking, baking and eating.
The Casual Gourmet (Jason Gilmore): Variety of baked goods.
The Jam Man (David Persinger): Many assorted jams/jellies (ELDERBERRY JELLY & APPLE BUTTER are back in stock…….also PEACH FLAMINGO, BLACK RASPBERRY & PLUM JAMS). Samples available. Chocolate TEXAS sheet cakes with or without pecans.
The Pie Lady and S. Plymouth Raw Honey (Julie & Dennis Mosny): local raw honey, honey comb, bees wax, black raspberry, strawberry, apple, peach, cherry, rhubarb, blackberry, strawberry rhubarb pies. Also cinni mini’s, buns bars, banana cake with burnt butter frosting and cinnamon rolls.
Wood Designs by DW (Debbie Welch): One of a kind handcrafted wood items— birdhouses, signs, tables, gnomes. Crocheted items including kitchen towels, pot scrubs, pot holders, baby booties, and afghans. Will take custom and special orders.
Your Other Mother’s Kitchen (Don & Sara Creamer): Bread, other baked goods, sewing crafts.
Bridge View Gardens (Hunter & Lorelle Rohrer): Fresh spring produce including zucchini, home grown tomatoes (cherry, slicing, heirloom), green beans, new potatoes, peppers, peaches and more. Variety of potted plants.
Cozy Baby Blessings (Nancy Cutter): Handmade baby essentials including crochet baby blankets and hats, flannel burp cloths, teethers and pacifier clips. Also crochet dishcloths and pot scrubbers, beaded pens, key chains and wax melts.
DSC Produce Farm (Darren Cox): 10 flavors of salsa and 4 flavors of salad dressings.
Edlynns Attic (Robin Dement): Yarn, loveys, scarves, dog biscuits, fingerless gloves, baking mixes and more.
Katrina Bush is a vendor with the Fayette County Farmers Market.