Thursday, August 20, 2009
Woolly Bears & Mint Tea
Every year fuzzy Woolly Bears pop up in the Jarvis House Garden. Are they amazingly correct predictors of winter weather? This year a Woolly Bear was clinging to a Yew bush and looked brown all over. In the past they were colored black on both ends, or showed up completely black. Can the colorations of Woolly Bears indicate the coming temperatures?A brown Woolly Bear forecasts a mild winter, while a completely black Woolly Bear foretells a cold winter. Black bands on either end of the caterpillar predict changing temperatures. It might not be science but this sort of folk prophesy is fun to think about, especially if you are lucky enough to find a Woolly Bear in the garden. Meanwhile, another brown critter was feasting on clover in the driveway.Except for an occasional spraying of Poison Ivy, the Jarvis Garden is organic. Rabbits love clover in the lawn, and especially the stems of Dandelions. Some people spend a lot of time trying to eradicate these plants from their lawns, but if you want happy Rabbits, they should be allowed to grow naturally.Mint Iced Tea is a staple in the Jarvis House kitchen all summer long.Snip long stems of Mint and wash them in cold tap water. Cut them down into short lengths and put in a pottery bowl with lots of water. Put the bowl into the microwave and nuke for about 8-10 minutes. On a hot day, boiling the water on the stove top makes the kitchen really warm. Carefully remove the bowl with potholders and add tea bags. If your teabags do not have paper tags, strings, and staples you can add them while in the microwave. Otherwise just remove the paper tags and push them into the hot Minty water with a wooden spoon.Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate for a refreshing drink. Take time out on a hot day to hydrate, while you are outside gardening. The Brewing Mint Tea gives a nice aroma to the house on muggy afternoons, when company is expected.