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Essex 7-3

Here are a couple of more items to consider for this weekend. The transfer station will be closed Saturday, July 3, but will be open as usual Monday, July 5. The Essex Community Church will be offering strawberry shortcake and drinks this Saturday, starting at 10 a.m., which will certainly enhance your enjoyment of the parade and will benefit the church as well.

The new septic system at the Whallonsburg Grange hall is just about complete, and it looks like a nicely done job.

The town hall now has a Wi-Fi system so you can use the Internet simply by clicking on "Town of Essex" and skipping over the password. You and your computer have to be within 200 feet of the building to use it.

In my garden, the peas are finally filling out and potatoes are flowering, which means sweet new potatoes will be ready in a couple weeks. My garlic crop seems to have escaped the leek moth threat and I'll be pulling it very soon now. It's a bit tricky knowing when to harvest garlic - too early and the heads are undersize; too late and the wrapper leaves around the head fall away, leaving bare cloves.

It seems I can't write a column without warning you of some evil insect or plague, and this one's no exception. Today's subject: wild parsnip. This plant, common along roadsides and open areas, has tall, umbrella shaped yellow green flowers, very much like the herb dill. The flowers are open now. Amy says it looks like Queen Anne's lace, but wild parsnip is much taller and not white. Wild parsnip is an aggressive invader, not a native, and if you come into contact with it, beware. The sap contains a compound that is activated by ultraviolet light and can cause serious skin burns. Poison ivy produces itching, while wild parsnip burns, and can leave scars and skin discoloration.

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