• 59°

Cooler weather prompting more questions

By Danelle Cutting

Cooperative Extension

The weather this week has been wonderful. I have actually been able to stay outside for long periods of time without sweating half to death. With that being said, my clients have also been outside, coming in contact with nature.

Here are a few questions that I encountered this week:

Question: I was riding my four-wheeler and parked on top of this nest. What are these insects, and do they sting?

Answer: These are the dreaded yellow jackets and how on earth you did not get stung is beyond me. They usually attack lawnmowers and do not like loud noises disturbing their nest. They are often confused with bees, but yellow jackets are usually much thinner and with less hair. They also enjoy nests in the ground, rotten posts, and I have even seen them in tree cavities. They are very active in the fall and enjoy being around trash cans and sweetened beverages so if you are outside, make sure you keep these things contained. For more information on yellow jackets and how to control them, visit our publication website at: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/horn-yj.htm

Question: What are these purple things that look like tomatoes?

Answer: This is a variety of black tomatoes, and their color is amazing. Tomatoes can come in a variety of colors and stripes. They are quite a unique plant. The black varieties of tomatoes have become fairly popular. Many of the seed catalogs are promoting the odd varieties. Some of the black varieties have done very well in the raised bed trials at the office. I am not sure what variety the photos depict, but there are a few popular varieties such as Black Krim, Black Russian, Indigo Rose and many others. Their flavor is definitely unique. Most of the black varieties are open pollinated or what is also known as heirloom.

Question: What is this worm?

Answer: This is not a worm. This is a monarch caterpillar, munching on your annual milkweed. This variety of milkweed is the only one that the monarchs can use to complete their lifecycle. At the office, I counted 11 monarch caterpillars on our milkweed. I am just hoping all of them make it to adulthood. For more information on butterflies, check out this Extension publication: http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/butterflies-in-your-backyard.pdf

Question: Can I eat the fruit from my quince?

Answer: Yes, but many process the fruit into jams, jellies and syrups before eating. There are numerous recipes on the internet and some in cookbooks. I have never tried them before, so I can’t really describe the flavor. If any of my readers have tried them, I would love to know what you think about their taste.

If you have questions concerning your garden, insects on the flowers, or interesting tomatoes, call your local agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

Comments

Elections

Requests for absentee ballots top 9,000 in Rowan

Local

Spencer approves supplemental USDA loan for Park Plaza project

Business

11 locals will make up Empire Redevelopment Task Force

Local

New finance director excited to prove himself, continue on path set by predecessor

Coronavirus

County health officials report four new COVID-19 deaths

Elections

Trump promotes health care ‘vision’ at stop in Charlotte but gaps remain

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with stealing mom’s dog

Business

Rowan County hires Howden as new finance director

Local

Exhibit about Jim Crow-era travel on display at NC Transportation Museum

Elections

GOP elections board members resign over absentee settlement

Crime

Drive-by shooting injures 24-year-old Salisbury man

Crime

Highway Patrol: Vehicle fled after striking, killing pedestrian on Camp Road

Local

Locals to be inducted into NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

Business

Fall fun, with a twist: Patterson Farm adjusts to guidelines, offers new version of traditional events

Nation/World

Sayers, Piccolo friendship lives on in ‘Brian’s Song’

Education

Partners in learning passes last year’s special needs fashion show fundraiser with all-virtual event

Education

Shoutouts

Elections

Former history teacher to use ‘working knowledge of the issues’ in state House race

Business

Chamber adds more than 50 new businesses during Total Resource Campaign

Education

School board candidates for Salisbury seat split on consolidation

Education

Virtually no internet: Rural NC families struggle with online access for school-age children

Education

Horizons Unlimited taking learning to students this semester

Nation/World

NTSB: Pilot’s actions likely caused Earnhardt Jr. plane crash

Nation/World

2 Louisville officers shot amid Breonna Taylor protests