The Birds and the Bees

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that DDT * now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Please!

-Joni Mitchell

 

 

Every year life on the  farm brings new lessons and challenges.  One of the appealing things to me about a farm based life is how rooted our activities are to the seasons and how dynamic our tasks are on a weekly basis depending on what is happening in the life of our plants.  It has been a great year so far.  The garden has been very productive.  One noticeable change for us this season however, is the addition of some new pests in the garden.  Perhaps they have always been there in small populations.  With our extra dry spring it is likely these buggies had earlier opportunities to reproduce and now we have bigger more noticeable populations in the garden.  Or perhaps this year the bugs had our calling card and our fairly new garden is becoming known for its treasures that pests prefer.  At any rate, we try to take a positive attitude and explore what those pests may be telling us about our garden.  Two species that like to show up in drier times that we haven’t seen in these gardens before are flea beetles and tarnishing plant bugs.  Flea beetles make small holes in our plants and the tarnishing plant bugs can deform the buds of particular flower species.  We also seem to have higher populations of grasshoppers this year and we are just starting to see a big increase in cabbage looper activity.  As far as what we will do about these issues there are some options.  Though we will mostly try to approach our pests with some level of tolerance, we may use some barriers like row cover to protect our plants from pests and we may use organically approved pesticides to control insect populations.  Soil health and crop rotation are long term strategies for limiting pests.  One good thing to remember as a consumer is that a few holes in your veggies or even a caterpillar making his home in your broccoli does not make the food bad.  Simply remove your friend and enjoy your broccoli.  None of these pests pose a risk to human health and our tolerance for some pests is a commitment to living in a biologically active world which is ultimately better for our human health.

 

Garden Shares

Beans – Carrots – Chard – Romaine Lettuce – Napa Cabbage – Sweet Onions – Parsley – Peas – Zucchini – Sweet Corn and Green Bell Pepper from Olathe

Tomatoes coming soon!

Fruit Shares

Peaches – Rhubarb

Pears coming soon!

Rhubarb

There are no shortage of great rhubarb recipe ideas out there to help you use your rhubarb this week.  There are several sites dedicated solely to the use of this hearty fruit like plant.  My personal favorite rhubarb treat is to make it into a sauce for ice cream.  Simply wash and chop your rhubarb into 1/4 inch pieces like a celery stalk.  Put rhubarb in a sauce pan with a small amount of water, just have enough to cover the bottom of the pan.  Simmer the rhubarb with a lid on until  it is tender and falling apart.  Then add your favorite sweetener to taste and  use as a sauce on ice cream.  Here is a link to one of those rhubarb centric sites.

http://www.rhubarb-recipes.com/

FLOWER SEASON IS HERE

You-pick 25 stems for $5.00.  This also includes a quick lesson and flower food to take home. Though you can come anytime during our flower hours, for best results come pick in the morning or evening.  Flower hours are Friday form 4-7pm and Saturday from 9am-5pm.

 

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