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Is Your Harvest Hiding Unwanted Guests? #GardenSense


Sometimes I pick and run. Toss the beans in a bag. Snipped kale, lettuce or chives get bagged and into the fridge.
You’re suppose to wash it when you use it right? Harvest and store, wash when used is recommended to prevent mildew and spoilage.
How close do you look at those leaves? Do you discard the ones with holes?
Do you know frass (insect poop) from insect eggs?
Don’t feel bad. Unless you have studied entomology, you might not recognize the difference.
I should know better, but like I said, I was in a hurry.
So several days later I found these in the bag. Cabbageworms and little green frass balls.
Yes, the bag was in the fridge.
Insects are resilient. Most larvae and eggs can survive cold temperatures. In this case, even thrive.
A few years ago I ordered ladybugs online to put in my garden. Instructions said to keep hibernating beetles in the crisper, then revive at room temperature.
Even though it is best not to wash your produce before storing it in the refrigerator, inspect it. Discard anything suspicious.
If you need to wash it, spin or towel it dry.
Invest in a good insect ID book. I use Rodale’s Color Handbook of Garden Insects.
I don’t mind sharing a bit with the bugs. Sharing HAS to be done outside. I will be more careful from now on.
Do you have any insect stories you would like to share? Drop me a line at email or in the comments below. I’ll share your story here on Garden Sense at Daily Dish Magazine.

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Cindy's Recipes and Writings

As a professional cook, I love creating exciting new recipes on the job as well as at home. Assisting in teaching low-income families how to buy, store and prepare healthy food through Penn State’s alliance with Pennsylvania’s Supercupboard Program was very rewarding. During my 11 years with the Master Gardener program, I taught horticultural therapy to assisted living patients using healthful, fr
esh grown food as a focal point. . My hands-on programs and instruction helped hundreds of children and adults learn about where their food comes from and how important fresh food is for your body.
Currently I’m a cook at a college in Pennsylvania. We prepare everything we can from scratch, including our potato chips that tout the seasoning of the day!
Of course I write about food; it's in my blood!

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1 Comment

  1. Oh my! Recently I found a giant black winged butterfly or moth of some sort in my bagged, ready to eat salad from the market. It looked like a piece of red romaine. A good reminder to wash even prepared salad and keep your eyes open!!

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