Keep updated on all that is happening around Thiessen Farms!

CSA 2014 – Week 8

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To spray or not to spray, that is the question.

Or at least that was the question this past week.

The potato beetles that previously were found only in our Turkish Orange eggplant, began to march throughout the patch, selecting plants seemingly at whim to decimate. Our choices were to spray or to pick them off by hand.

Because the plants were also full of ladybugs – which would eat any aphids present – and bees – necessary to pollinate the eggplant flowers, I hesitated to spray. Any chemical strong enough to kill the Colorado potato beetle would surely finish off the bees & ladybugs too. But hand picking multitudes of potato beetles, of all stages & sizes, on more than 600 plants would  take an awful lot of time.

In the end we decided not to spray. Instead, every other day we walk through the patch with jars of soapy water & remove by hand any beetles we find.

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While time consuming, it’s good to hear the bees buzzing and see the lady bugs crawling around doing their thing. We seem to be gaining ground on the potato beetles as well. Hopefully victory is ours!

And then there are the rabbits! Those hungry little rabbits!

We have never seen so many rabbits throughout the farm as this year. Where are those coyotes when we need them? (Actually we saw a beautiful, large coyote today – in the neighbour’s strawberry patch). Our edamame that I thought was slow to germinate, was actually being eaten as it popped out of the ground. The green beans were the bunnies next target.

After considering our options, we put a net barrier around the latest vegetable plantings. So far, so good!

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Even some of the edamame is making a comeback!

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But not everything was a struggle with nature this week.

There was enjoyment & pleasure too. The fog this morning enveloped the farm in a beautiful & mysterious mist …

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What’s in the box?

Green beans, onions, lettuce, zucchini, raspberries, maybe tomatoes, and eggplant as an extra

  • The green beans are ready – and they are beautiful!
  • Our shareholders really enjoyed the Ailsa Craig heirloom onions that we grew last season, so we grew them again. They’re still a little small, but each week the size will increase. These onions are a sweet treat!
  • Your box this week again contains lettuce & zucchini and raspberries.
  • We have been picking a few early cherry tomatoes for a while now ( not sufficient quantities for our CSA, but the customers at our farmers’ markets have been enjoying them), but the large red beefsteak tomatoes are a bit slower to ripen. We picked the first of them today. Not enough for everyone, but some boxes will include a tomato. Next week the rest will have a tomato. And soon there will be plenty of tomatoes!
  • Eggplant is something we grow for our markets but don’t often offer in our CSA basket. It seems many of you don’t eat eggplant. This week it will be available as an extra for those who want to try it.

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The bean patch.

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “CSA 2014 – Week 8

  1. I love your blog and only wish I lived close to be part of your CSA. I’m curious about all your various types of eggplant. Is it possible to post photos of a few different ones?

  2. Thanks for the comments on deciding to spray or not. I looked into the beetle a bit and it said it seems to be resistant to most regular stuff anyway. There is some fungus you can apply or something, but I’m sure there are other considerations in that too.

    Wonder if any particular bird or bat likes to eat them and could be encouraged to nest near by or something?

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