In which we encounter a black widow spider

Last Sunday was quite an exciting workday! We had a great time digging up the first potatoes of the year. New potatoes are absolutely delicious and have very little in common with store bought ones. Searching the soil for potatoes is always a bit of an adventure as they can spread out pretty far. 

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Yet even the magnificence of our potatoes could not top the discovery Holly made for drama. While pulling up some bolted lettuce she grabbed the nest of the biggest black widow spider I have ever seen. Luckily she was wearing gloves! Without exaggeration I can say that this spider was the size of my thumbnail. It was quite alarming, but we crushed the spider with a shovel. The kind people of ohill gave me a cleaning solution that in their words, “kills H1N1 and Aids and will make your garden smell nice.” This I poured over the spider nest to make sure that nothing was alive (and to make the garden smell nice, though the sweet peas are doing a great job with that all on their own). Luckily black widow spider nests look far different from ordinary spider webs. They are disordered and resemble soggy cotton so I do not need to be paranoid over every spider web I see. Even so I have been wearing gloves far more diligently than I usually do. 

Once we had taken care of the spider, everyone got back to work harvesting the last of the broccoli before pulling it up and planting beans. 

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We also planted more sunflowers and carrots where the lettuce had been. Some hungry creature (possibly one of UVA’s obese squirles) ate the first sunflower plants we put in so hopefully these will survive as sunflowers are my favorite. 

At the end of the workday there was quite a harvest and everyone got to take something yummy home. I am looking forward to seeing everyone, checking out how the beans are doing, and maybe digging up some more potatoes this Sunday.

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