On the Plate


A very local breakfast – potatoes and bunching onions from our garden and eggs from our chickens


and sausage from a local farm – maybe 15 miles away – we picked it up at the farmers market in downtown Staunton on Saturday.


the coleus is doing well here in the pots


I was in the front yard yesterday afternoon hoping to see more monarchs and I kept hearing a desperate sound from the sage. I looked about and finally spotted this garter snake trying to eat a toad – or is it a frog? – I think it’s a toad. I called Dave and he didn’t think the snake really had a chance of downing his catch so he pulled the toad out of the snakes mouth and the snake slunk away. Hope the toad survived his injuries.


I tried my first bitter melon yesterday.


I was reading conflicting info on line as to how to prepare it – cooked or raw, seeded or not…


I decided to take the seeds out, slice it and saute it in coconut oil with minced garlic and salt.


It was pretty good, especially with the seasoned ground pork and sweet potato. It did taste bitter on it’s own. But bitter is supposed to be good for us. According to the Baker Creek Seed catalog “the bitter melon has at least two active traits with anti-diabetic properties, including charantin, which lowers blood glucose and poly-peptide-p, which has been proven to mimic how human insulin acts, thereby acting as a plant replacement of insulin for people with type-1 diabetes.” I hope my plant produces more fruit. It is having to fight the bushel basket gourd plant for space in the garden. We were supposed to trellis it like a cucumber. We’ll know better next year.



This monarch was fluttering around our front yard yesterday afternoon. I hope it found the milkweed in the pasture.


This is a female eastern tiger swallowtail. We’ve been seeing their caterpillars on our dill.


King Leo