I can picture a beautiful vegetable garden, in lovely weeded rows. Where everything is nearly trimmed, and all the home chief has to do, is go out and select this beautiful organic produce, take it in the house to put directly into their homemade meal. The reality of this for us, is slightly different. We starting gardening about 5 years ago, and has been a learning and evolving process, we mess something up, then try something different the next time. Our rows are not always straight, weeded or trimmed, last year it was so muddy, we couldn’t get in the garden to do anything for weeks at a time. So as our knowledge and experience changes, so does our technique. Dad aka Papa, built a greenhouse 2 winters ago. This has served us for all our seed starting needs and his hydroponic endeavors.(growing food in water instead of dirt). We added a hoop house this past winter and are excited to get that filled with plants this spring.Both of these buildings give us the luxury of minimal weeding, and ultimately more climate control. The theory is pest control will be super easy as well, however bugs are survivors and they can radar in on our delicious organic greens. They think that we grow all this bounty for them. Even in the greenhouse green worms are picked off. Our most recent infestation has been aphids, and those definataly cannot be picked off. So what is an organic farmer to do? Well switching to some pesticide has crossed my mind…seeing our beautiful eggplant reduced to lacy leaves is enough to boil my blood. But in a final attempt to organically grow food, we have hired some mercenaries. The small spotted kind. The kind that eat aphids for dinner. Literally.Enter ladybugs.You can buy them by the bagful on amazon and they are known for their big appetites. So we will give this one last shot before we break out the bug spray.If they aphids don’t go, we will lose the entire years crop.Keep you all posted.
*update we did let the ladybugs go…if we had to a do over, we would let them go over days or weeks instead of all at once. Even in the greenhouse they all seemed to disappear…back to the drawing board