Here’s a picture of our tractor & sprayer.
I used to spend more time on this equipment, back when we grew peaches, pears, cherries … and all the other tender fruit. Now that we are concentrating on vegetables, I don’t use the sprayer much. We try to grow our crops without the use of pesticides, whether organic or chemical. Now I mostly use the sprayer for watering – transplants when we put them in the ground, or crops when it gets really dry (like last year – not this year!).
However, we will use the sprayer for its intended purpose – to spray pesticides – when we feel it is necessary. After our first 2 hail events earlier this season, I did apply a fungicide on our tomatoes to try & prevent or at least slow down blight & other diseases.
We also spray our blackberries.
For many years we did not. That was one of the good things about growing blackberries – no spraying necessary!
Then along came the spotted wing drosophila. Spotted wing drosophila is an invasive vinegar fly that has the potential to cause extensive damage to many fruit crops (especially soft fruits like berries and dark coloured fruit like blackberries). In the last few years it has been found throughout much of southern Ontario along with most of the fruit-growing areas of North America. It has become a chronic pest in berry and tender fruit crops in Ontario. Effective biological controls are not yet available. There are cultural practices that we use to help reduce the insect populations, but the only effective control right now is chemical.
And so we spray regularly to try to kill the spotted wing drosophila and protect our blackberries (and elderberries). We would rather not! But then again, we would rather not have worms in our blackberries – would you!?
(not sure why I only remember to take pictures of the blackberries after picking, and not before?)
What’s in the box?
Blackberries, kohlrabi, green beans, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic.
- The blackberries are great again this week! We harvested a huge amount today – which means another couple pints in your share this week. In the unlikely event that you cannot eat them all, remember that they freeze very well. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze overnight. Then scoop them into a bag. That way you can grab as many as need this coming winter, for using in smoothies, on ice cream, yogurt or pudding, or for baking …
- Two weeks ago I posted that the new planting of kohlrabi was ready but the rain had cracked & rotted them. It was disappointing to say the least, so I ignored them for a while! But this week you will find a kohlrabi in your box. While some rotted or were cracked & misshapen beyond use, many are still salvageable. Most do have a crack or 2 and will require a bit of extra peeling & cutting – which is why we let them get bigger before harvesting them. You will still get a lot of good eating out of them. I know I did when I picked them today!! (If you have forgotten what to do with kohlrabi, look back at the CSA newsletters of weeks 4 and 5 for suggestions.)
- A new row of green beans is ready. The quality is great – the quantity not so much. For years we have grown the same variety of green beans, but this year we tried a new kind that promised to be easier to pick with most of the beans held on stems above the leaves. Indeed they are a treat to pick, but unfortunately they don’t produce as heavy a crop. For our next planting, which should be ready in a week or 2, we have returned to our old faithful green beans – harder to pick, but better production. Live & learn!
- A new crop of lettuce mix is also ready. Enjoy it in a fresh salad along with the other contents of the box – peppers, tomatoes, onions & garlic.
– new zucchini planting
– tomatoes struggling to outgrow the blight.
– last week’s box.