Thursday, March 7, 2013

Shut the Front Door ... Day 66 ... When creepy crawleys attack, do dishes.

I wish I could be completely self sustaining when it comes to the food I put on my table.

I hate shopping for food only to see that the products I'm buying are imported from other parts of the country, and even worse, from other countries around the world.
I know, I know, we are the world, international trade agreements, it's too cold in January to grow strawberries in NY, blah, blah, blah.

What brought this on you ask?
Well maybe you didn't ask but I'm going to tell you.

The last thing you want to see is people coughing into their hands or touching their nose (yea, we'll call it just touching), while being picky about which plum, apple, and/or tomato they want to put in their cart.
I know.
It's very disconcerting to witness a child sneezing all over the produce section.
I know it's a child ...  but still.
What finally brought this rant from "burning in the back of my mind" to "the screen in front of you" is the celery I bought yesterday in a certain store near me (although, I could probably have bought this same brand of celery in just about any store).
Not to name names, but that store begins with a W and, from what I understand, has a very questionable dress code.

Now,I'm not ignorant of where my food comes from (for the most part, anyway). I know that during the growing process, fruits and vegtables are subject to contact with all sorts of insects and other animals. I also know that much of this contact aids in the pollination process and therefore is, in fact, necessary to the very existence of the plants.

What's bothering me is this.
When I opened the bag of celery today, my counter was instantly covered in these little green hopping/crawling things.
The package of celery was infested with them.
You seriously didn't want to hear the shriek (or the words) that came out of my mouth.

The entire bag of celery immediately went into a dish water bath (more on that later) and I spent several panicked minutes with a tissue trying to limit the spread of these little nasties through my kitchen (hence, the lack of pictures of my infested counter).

Getting back to my dream/fantasy to become completely self sustaining.
I know that anything I grow myself will still have little creepy crawlies on it but at least they will be local creepy crawlies and I can wash my food before it comes into the house.

I don't know where these little beggars came from, the distributor in California or (most likely) from the questionably organic fields of Mexico?? Incidentally, I purchased this celery because I thought it came from California. It wasn't until, I was examining the bag for additional pests, that I discovered the barely legible statement of it's origin.
A bag of celery, bought in NY, distributed by a company in California, grown in Mexico, labeled in French.
What the H. E. double hockey sticks is going on here?

Now, getting back to the dish water bath.
Did you do a, "Say What?" when I said that?
Dish soap is a very good insect killer. I'm not sure why but I really don't believe it has anything to do with being toxic. It's safe enough to use to clean your dishes after all.
I think it has something to do with a suffocating effect the soap has on their nasty little lungs.
Got an earwig problem? dishwater.
Got a Japanese beetle problem? Dishwater.
And the list goes on.
Dishwater and insects don't mix.
From what I understand, even orchards will spray their trees with dishwater to keep down the pests. It doesn't hurt the trees but kills the pests.
I've even heard that you should water your garden with your dishwater instead of dumping it down the drain.

Anyway, my celery and my kitchen are now creepy crawly free unless you count the houseflies that are beginning to wake up for the season.

Maybe on February 1st, instead of dragging a worthless rodent out of it's hole to see when spring is coming, we should dump a bucket of houseflies on the ground. If they wake up and start buzzing around annoyingly, spring is coming. If they just lay there and die...well, we're doomed (you're aware of that canary in a coal mine theory right?).

Just a thought.

Day 66

Still dreary but warming up a bit.
I hear it's supposed to be in the 40's this weekend. The flies will be so happy.

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