Aphids Attack!

So, everyone has been saying, ‘aren’t you afraid this warm winter and early spring is going to make the bugs a really big issue?” 

Let me just say, THE BUGS ARE A REALLY BIG ISSUE.  Ahem.  Sorry for yelling.  Actually, I should amend that by saying, THE BUGS ARE A REALLY BIG ISSUE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU GROW CONVENTIONALLY. 

We live in a world of bugs.  Sorry about that, you bug-a-phobes.  But, rest assured, most of them are good guys.  Somewhere between 2% and 10% of the bugs out there are pests to humans, or the food we eat (I’ve heard several numbers- not sure who is right).  That leaves 90-98% as the good guys.  Insects fighting in OUR corner.  I am adamently opposed to spraying stuff that kills all those good guys. 

Can I tell you a story?

Let’s suppose we see bad bugs in the garden- oh say a zillion billion quadrillion aphids descending on a high tunnel filled with ready-to-pick greens at Red Ridge Farms.  First of all, Farmer Ami was a little slow to respond.  That was a mistake that cost her a couple of days.  But then SHE SPRUNG INTO ACTION!  First, she cut off all the harvestable greens, gave them a good wash and sent them off to St. Andrews (thank you volunteers!  You were amazing! 160 pounds of delicious produce saved in the nick of time and fed to the hungry!).  Then she blasts the plants with a good jet of water, washing a lot of the little soft bodied insects away.    Next is a good honest feeding of Emerald Earth microorganisms and fish emulsion (farmer Ami needs a shower).  And lastly, a wonderful package comes in the mail, filled with ladybugs, green lace wings, and praying mantis eggs.  Voila!  Clean produce, ready for market one week later!  Not a toxic chemical in site.  And the beauty of it all, the beneficial bugs will stick around and keep munching on the bad guys – all summer long.  Now that’s a systemic program, where the good guys do all the work.  Farmer Ami can kick back, catch some rays, play tag in the sun, and drink something cool in the shade… oh wait… sorry-  Farmer Ami’s gotta go plant the broccoli…


Another great member of the bug patrol



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