We are grateful for those of you who buy our vegetables. But those who just fly or hop on in and treat the farm like a giant free buffet? No gratitude for these guys.
Sometimes they are pretty. One could mistake this white flying pest for an innocent, even ethereal, sightseer. No. This is the parent of the green European Cabbage Worm who feasts on all brassicas, such as broccoli and cabbage.
Mostly, I want to whinge about the grasshoppers. The grasshoppers are a huge pain in the neck, hopping in and out of the high tunnels, all over us even, scarfing down everything they can reach (well, not everything). We use semaspore bait. This stuff is pretty interesting if, like me, you are fascinated, in a scientific way, by animals who eat their young. Grasshoppers eat their young. The young eat the semaspore, which has been spread all over the vegetables. It is wheat germ that has been infected with a virus. The young then infect the adults upon being eaten.
The solution to the cabbage worm, as well as many other uninvited guests, is a low toxic pesticide called Spinosad (discovered on a Carribean island by a scientist on vacation!). Here is our employee, John, a former cheerleader champion now using his skills to bring the beneficial insects, and us, to victory. He’s cheerfully carrying a full backpack of the Spinosad .
The solution to the pests below, the Japanese Beetles, is to have a farmer pick them off. This was once one of my jobs. I got a manicure before our wedding. I had to bring in a professional. Japanese Beetle guts stain the skin.
Look at him, moving on up, as if he owns the place.
I can’t leave those of you (who may generously show up after all this time) with such creepy images.
I’ll end with a few of July’s beautiful vegetables and the beautiful workers who take such good care of them.
Here is Elizabeth, who works with Helen on the flowers. The beginning of a bouquet:Carrots:
Just one of the many varieties of tomatoes: Recipes, tutorials and the Belgian farmer to come soon. My hot weather swoon is over. I’ll be posting more regularly. Truly.