Consumer Q's; Leftover Pumpkins; Gas Prices; Saddleback Caterpillar; Bald Cypress
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
Question: I was planning a party to carve jack-o’-lanterns but had a last-minute change of plans. What can I use pumpkins for besides pies?
Answer: Pumpkin cheesecake, ice cream, soups, stews, roast pumpkin and feta risotto, cakes, bars, pancakes, cookies and breads are a few of your options. How about a pumpkin dip made by combining pureed pumpkin with softened cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon and ginger? You can serve it with ginger snaps. Pumpkin ice cream can be slightly thawed and spooned into a graham cracker crust and then re-frozen for an ice cream pie. Don’t think of pumpkin dishes as just sweet, however. Many savory dishes such as Thai pumpkin soup or other pumpkin soups containing chicken broth, onions and herbs will warm your autumn days and nights. Ever thought of pumpkin chicken chili? These are just a few ideas. Check your cookbooks and online recipe sources that you trust for detailed instructions. Remember, too, that small pumpkins can be scooped out to make serving dishes for soups, stews and dips.
Q: I always thought gasoline prices at a station went up or down when gas is delivered. This summer I noticed prices changing almost every day. Why? Gas is not delivered every day.
A: Gasoline prices do not necessarily change only when gas is delivered. There are other factors that go into a station’s decision to change the price. Also, there are no rules or regulations that restrict stations from changing prices when they choose.
Q: Will bald cypress trees grow in northwest Georgia near Rome? I have a family pond and I want to plant bald cypress trees on the shoreline.
A: Bald cypress will grow in northwest Georgia and all parts of the state. Bald cypress is very hardy, thriving even into southern Canada. They are also more tolerant of drier soils than their native swampy habitat would indicate. They will be perfect for growing along a pond. You may even have some produce their distinctive "knees" if they are close enough to the water.
Q: What do saddleback caterpillars turn into?
A: The saddleback caterpillar (Sibine stimulea), turns into a small brown moth that is known as the saddleback caterpillar moth. As the name suggests, the moth is boring compared to its larval (caterpillar) stage. The caterpillar looks like a colorful sea slug that washed into your garden from a coral reef. It is short with indistinct legs that make it look and move like a slug, brown at either end, and has a prominent, white-ringed brown oval “saddle” at the center of its back. Its midsection is like a bright, apple green saddle blanket. Lobes on the front and rear of the caterpillar bear stinging spines. There are also clusters of stinging spines along the sides. Stings can be very painful. You should not handle a saddleback if you find one. As with many creatures that contain toxins, their distinctive appearance serves as a warning. Saddlebacks feed on a wide variety of plants. They are not numerous enough nor do enough damage to be considered a garden or agricultural pest.
If you have questions about services or products regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, visit our website at www.agr.georgia.gov or write us at 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Room 227, Atlanta, GA 30334 or e-mail us at email@example.com. To learn more about agricultural issues, get garden tips and find sources for flowers, livestock and other agricultural products, consider a subscription to The Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin. Subscriptions for Georgia residents are $10 per year. To start or renew a subscription, send a check or money order payable to Market Bulletin at the address above.
Georgia Department of Agriculture