Month: August 2014

Pet Food Banks

Yes, I said, in my last post that I would write about Pet Food Banks in New Jersey — Tomorrow.  I didn’t quite get that done, did I?  But, here’s what I’ve found so far:
There are actually quite a lot of organizations, throughout the state, that provide this service which is great to know.  I’ve added a few to the various directories already and I’ll continue as I find them.  You’ll find them under Wildlife & Animal Welfare.  Here are a few:
Kibble Cupboard in Egg Harbor City.  Their web site also gives places where you can drop off donated pet food.
Companion Animal Advocates in Hillsdale, among all the other services they provide, have distributed 582,780 bowls of pet food … as of August 1, 2014.
Oakland Animal Hospital in Bergen County, has a pet food bank.
Pet Aid in Burlington County provides a variety of disaster relief services to animals, including pet food distribution.
The Prince Chunk Foundation in Blackwood is a little farther reaching providing assistance in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and California which includes assistance with pet food.  Their web site, however, indicates that they are undergoing reorganization and some assistance is at a stand still, but visit their site in any case.
companionanimals
And, that also brings me to the point of saying that these organizations that have been formed to assist pets and their owners need help themselves.  They need funds, they need other kinds of donations.  Please do what you can to assist them.  Visit their web sites, find out how you can help.
The same is true of other types of not-for-profits that you will find in our directories.  All these organizations do wonderful things for many people and need as much help as we can give them.
Keep checking the directories for more of this kind of organization and others.

Pet Owners Take Note

Almost every day, I share posts on FB about lost and found animals. I’ve been doing this for months. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of homeless animals out there, just in our state.
In our directories, in almost every county, there are rescue groups gathering up these unfortunate animals: dogs, cats, birds, and injured wildlife, and trying to get them into a better situation. These organizations need all kinds of assistance: money, supplies, volunteers.
If you have pets, particularly if they are outside for any period of time, even if they’re on a leash, please have them micro-chipped so, if they wander off, rescuers can find you. If you have pets that you have to let go of, for any reason, please contact one of these organizations near you; DON’T ABANDON PETS.
Above all, please, Please, PLEASE, have your pets spayed and neutered so more animals aren’t created for which there aren’t enough homes.
If you are looking for a new pet, don’t go to pet stores or breeders, contact a shelter near you, or one of these organizations who have more homeless animals than they have space for. You may save a life.
Every day, when one of these organizations posts a successful adoption, or a pet reunited with its family, all of us who love animals are made happy.
I’ve just learned of pet food banks; I’ll do some more investigation and blog about them tomorrow.
Have a great day. Hug your pet.
Remember, we are adding listings to our directories continually.

Today in Montgomery

Montgomery Friends of Open Space have a Farmer’s Market on Saturdays not far from where I live. I shop there whenever I can.
It’s the right time of year to pick up fresh local produce.
Terra Momo Bread Company, of Princeton was there with bakery items.
Griggstown Quail Farm had some of their pies, mushrooms and eggs but I live near the farm so I can always stop by.
Chickadee Creek Farm from Pennington always has a nice selection of produce. I picked up salad greens and fresh arugula from them.
Fresh dairy products are the specialty of Fulper Family Farmstead of Lambertville.
Tree-Licious Orchards who come all the way from Port Murray in Warren County had some of their pies and lots of fresh fruit to offer.
Montgomery Friends of Open Space was there with an information table. They do an important job in trying to preserve the remaining open space in Montgomery Township and in supporting local agriculture.
I picked up a nice ripe, plump, fresh tomato and cucumber from Von Thun’s Country Farm. There’s a salad I’ll be using them in later tonight. I also picked up some ginger gold apples from them. It’s a variety of apple I’m not familiar with. I had one as an afternoon snack break. It was very good, sweet with a little tart, and a fragrant undertone somewhat reminiscent of mild ginger.
There were a couple of vendors there today that I’m not as familiar with:
WoodsEdge Wool Farm in Stockton, had a variety of items on display: beautiful throws, shawls, socks caught my eye. They gave me some great ideas for gifts for upcoming birthdays and Christmas. While their woolen products are the focus; they also had some of their honey on hand which was great for me because I was just about running out.
A variety of cheeses, mustards, sausages and baked goods were offered by Brick Farm Market which is supplied by Double Brook Farm where they raise cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys and produce.
I’m always happy if there’s prepared food at a farmers’ market so I can pick up something for lunch or dinner after I finish shopping. Today I picked up a jerk chicken meal from Little Island Cuisine. The meal included fried plantains, rice & beans and “Little Island” vegetables. It was very tasty and I have some left over for later.
I tasted samples of lemon thyme shortbread and snickerdoodles from Suzy’s Wild Cooking. The lemon shortbread is lovely and the snickerdoodles have an interesting and intriguing hint of a secret ingredient that I couldn’t quite identify. I picked up a dozen of the lemon shortbread to share with the family later.
While our directories don’t include all the variety of businesses and products that could be found at the Farmers’ Market today, you’ll find some of these in our directories and we’re always happy to mention them in the blog as we discover them.
As always, check out our directories, always let us know of any link problems, any errors and any great small, local independent New Jersey businesses and products that we’re missing.  We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.  Please like and follow us. Thank you.

Critters Around the House

NEWS: We’ve added listings for Monmouth County. Please take a look.
Critters Around the House: Clearing up Daddy-Long-Legs
Home & Garden is one of our categories of interest. So, after a conversation with a couple of members of my family, over the weekend, I thought I should clear up what appears to be some confusion about Daddy-Long-Legs. The common names of various creatures vary from region to region and among groups of people and individuals. Thus the value of’ scientific names.
If bugs creep you out, try to get through this next little bit. I grew up with a silly childhood game where you pick up a Daddy-Long-Legs, hold in on the palm of your hand and ask it, “Daddy-Long-Legs, show me my cows.” The daddy-long-legs would, at some point, lift a “leg” and point. Where this silly game came from I have on idea and haven’t found it on-line, so far, but I know my father taught it to me.
As I grew up and moved around the country and met many people from different places and backgrounds, I came to realize that some people called other bugs daddy-long-legs and that I knew them by different names. The name Daddy-Long-Legs is used for a variety of critters with long legs. Using other common names and their scientific names makes things clearer.
The Daddy-Long-Legs I played with as a child:
daddy long legs
Is also commonly called a Harvestman. But, more accurately, is any of about 6,500 species, worldwide, of Opiliones. They are NOT spiders. They differ from spiders in many ways but most noticeably in having a single pair of “eyes” and a single, fused, body part; the most common American species having a slightly flattened, oval body. They cannot break human skin and are completely harmless.
Today, I saw the first Harvestman I’ve seen in decades.
What you have seen in your basement and in various corners around the house or garage are most likely Cellar Spiders: one of about 1,000 species, worldwide, of the familiy Pholcidae, of the order Araneae, spiders:
cellar-spider-2
You might notice, from the photo, that they have an elongated body, slightly pinched toward the middle.
Like most spiders, they can bite although their venom is weak even for their usual prey and there have been no known cases of human reaction to their bites.
Finally, sometimes called Daddy-Long-Legs but more accurately called Crane flies are the large leggy flies that sometimes unintentionally get into your house.
crane fly 1
The 15,300 species of the family Tipulidae of the order Diptera may be annoying and unsettling for some but they neither sting nor bite and are completely harmless to human beings. Their larvae, however, are considered to be agricultural pests.
So, you decide whether or not to kill any of these creatures.  Generally, I try not to kill most creatures.  Remember that spiders all eat large numbers of insects.  Most Opiliones are omnivorous eating a little bit of everything, cleaning up the world around them and us.  While Crane Fly larvae may cause trouble for some crops, some of the adult flies have such short lifespans that they don’t eat at all.  I generally, just evict them from my house, where they don’t belong and I don’t want them.  I have a bug vac that I use to capture stinging or biting bugs and spiders that I then release outside, away from the house:

And, when I’m vacuuming, I do vacuum up whatever bugs and spiders have invaded my space and dispose of them in that way but I do try to get them out of the house, most of the time, without killing them.
My thanks to Wikipedia for the details on these common creatures.  My thanks to Yahoo images for the images.  And, the image and link to the bug vac is from my Amazon store.