Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Simply Cucumber/Squash Vine Borer Control

Cucumber/Squash Vine Borer
I hope everyone is having a great week. On today's post, we are going to give you a little bit of information about cucumber/squash vine borers.  Typically, these pests affect squash and pumpkins, but they can also affect cucumbers and melons.  Unfortunately, we have had a visit from these evil creatures and they devastated my cucumbers.  I did manage to salvage enough for 6 pints of pickles, so all was not lost.  The vine borers look similar to wasps and will lay their eggs on the underside of the plant's leaves.  Once the larvae hatch, they will bore into the stems of the plant to feed.  If you look closely, you may see saw dust like frass around the holes in the stem.

You can attempt to prevent these creatures from destroying your crop by using prevention methods.  One way is to cover your crop with a row cover to prevent the bugs from getting to your plants.  You will want to remove the cover when the plant begins to bloom, so that bees and other pollinators can fertilize the blossoms.  Diatomaceous Earth is way you can stop the bugs dead in their tracks.  It's a white chalk like powder which is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton, so it's all natural.  You generously sprinkle this on the stems of the plants early in the morning, when they are still wet with dew.  The diatomaceous earth is sharp, so when the insects walk over them, it will tear open their exoskeletons and allow infection which will kill the insects. (We will have another post about this product at another time).  Another way to protect your plants would be to wrap the base stems with aluminum foil.  I have not tried this method, but a friend says it works well.

At the end of the season, you will want to destroy the plants and till the ground.  Next season, you will want to move where you plant your affected plants since the larvae of the vine borer may overwinter in the ground. You can also till the ground again in the later winter/early spring to expose the larvae and allow the frost/freeze to kill any larvae that attempts to overwinter.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Get Out & Explore: Events and Festivals for the Week/Weekend of 07/28-08/03

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! We have compiled a list of festivals and events that are happening around Tennessee for the upcoming week/weekend. You will find that the listings below are divided into three categories based on the areas of the state. I hope you find the list useful. Please feel free to leave a comment if this was beneficial for you. If you have an event you would like for us to post, please let us know! We will see you on Wednesday, when we post about the striped cucumber beetle. Have a fun and safe week! :)

West TN

Middle TN
  • July 27-Aug 02, International Festival & Horse Show
Tennessee miller Coliseum, Murfreesboro, TN
  • July 28-Aug 02,  Bedford County Fair
Bedford County AG Center, Shelbyville, TN
  • July 31-Aug 09, Putnam County Fair
Fairgrounds, Cookeville, TN
  • Aug 1-2,  Maury Regional Health Care Foundation's 2014 Art Effects Show & Sale
Memorial Building, Columbia, TN
  • Aug 1-2,  Fourth Annual Gospel Legends Reunion
Goodlettsville Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Goodlettsville, TN
  • Aug 1-3,  "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"
Manchester Arts Center, Manchester, TN
  • Aug 2,  Old-Fashioned Ice Cream
Armour Hotel, Red Boiling Springs, TN
  • Aug 02, Kentucky Lake Waterford Festival
City Park, Big Sandy, TN
  • Aug 02, The 35th Annual l'Ete du Vin Featuring Chateau Margaux
Vanderbilt Hotel, Nashville, TN
  • Aug 02,  Wartrace Horse Show
112 Bridgeview Ave, Wartrace, TN
  • Aug 02, Second Annual Fraternal Order of Police Buffalo River Lodge 95 Truck & Tractor Pull
Buffalo River Resort, Lobelville, TN
  • Aug 02, Family Fun Flea Market
Short Mountain Trading Post, Woodbury, TN
  • Aug 02, Bedford County Fair Donkey Show
Bedford County Agriculture Center, Shelbyville, TN
  • Aug 02,  FADDS Summer Jam for Autism Speaks
Charlie Daniels Park, Mt Juliet, TN
  • Aug 02,  Seventh Annual Classics in the Park Car Show
Williams Spring Park, Mt Pleasant, TN
  •  Aug 02-09, Macon County Fair
Macon County Fairgrounds, Lafayette, TN
  •  Aug 03, Williamson County Fair Miniature Donkey Show
Williamson County Agricultural Exposition Center, Franklin, TN
East TN
  • July 31-Aug 02, Tennessee Square and Round Dance Convention
W.L. Mills Conference Center, Gatlinburg, TN
  • Aug 01, Border Bash Concert Series
400 & 500 Block of State Street, Bristol, TN
  •  Aug 02, 11th Annual Elizabethton Butterfly Count
Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, Elizabethton, TN
  • Aug 02, Conference on Agritourism Development
Walters State Community College Claiborne Campus, Tazewall, TN

Friday, July 25, 2014

Simply Squash Casserole

Squash Casserole

Happy Friday everyone!  We have had a very good year with our vegetable garden, so we've been canning and cooking a lot around here. Yellow squash is now beginning to mature, and you may end up with more than you can handle.  If so, then try out our squash casserole.  It's great for a Sunday Church side dish, or even as a meal.


7 Cups - Chopped Squash
1 1/2 Cup - Chopped Onion
2 TB - Butter
2 TB - Vegetable Oil
2 tsp - Black Pepper
16 oz - Sour Cream
16 oz - Shredded Cheddar Cheese
26 - Crushed Crackers

1.  In a pan, heat the oil and butter.
2 . Add the squash and onion to the pan and saute for 10-15 min, or until the squash is tender.
3.  Combine the squash, onion, pepper, sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese in a large bowl
     and mix well.
4.  Pour the mixture into a greased 2 quart baking dish and top with crushed crackers.
5.  Bake at 375 degree F for 30-40 minutes.
6.  Enjoy!

Have a great weekend and check back with us on Sunday, when we will let you know what events/festivals are happening around Tennessee for the next weekend. If you missed this weekend's list, you can find the post on our blog from this past Sunday, July 20, 2014!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Simply Heritage: The Nashville Parthenon

Parthenon in Nashville, TN
I hope everyone is having a great week. On today's post, we are going to give you a little bit of information about a Tennessee Landmark.  I decided that since we are a blog about Tennessee, we should incorporate different facts from around the state.  The Parthenon is one of the least mentioned landmarks in Tennessee.  It was originally built in 1897, for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition.  Nashville is often called the Athens of the South, and it only seemed appropriate to create a full scale replica of the Parthenon in Greece.  The building was not suppose to be permanent and was built with plaster, wood and brick.  After the event, the city decided not to demolish the structure since the local population and visitors from around the country had fallen in love with it. However, the building began to be weathered down over the next 20 years, so beginning in 1920, it was rebuilt as a permanent structure made of concrete. The exterior was completed in 1925 and the interior in 1931.

The Parthenon has been the backdrop to many theatrical events and even movies.  In 1913 and 1914, the Spring Pageants in Nashville held huge plays with up to 500 cast members at the steps of the building.  The productions included large dance numbers, chariot races, thousands of live birds and even sets pieces that shot out flames.  Even today, the local theaters still have production plays at the Parthenon. The structure can been seen in movies and on made for TV series, including Robert Altman's 1975 film Nashville, the 2010 film titled Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and the 2010 PBS series Greeks: Crucible of Civilization.

Athena Parthenos inside the Nashville Parthenon

Today, the Parthenon is a functioning art museum that stands at the center of Centennial Park which is just west of downtown Nashville.  In 1990, Alan LeQuire produced a complete recreation of the Athena Parthenos which was the center piece of the original Parthenon in ancient Greece.  The statue was recreated to the careful scholarly standards and towers at 42 feet tall. Actually, the entire building is carefully crafted to be an exact replica of the original temple. So, if you ever visit Nashville, be sure to swing by the Parthenon and enjoy experiencing a replicated piece of ancient Greece right here in Tennessee.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about a piece of Tennessee history.  Enjoy the rest of your week, and we'll see you on Friday with our Recipe of the Week! Till next time.

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