Update from Josh

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I am really glad that it rained last weekend.  We had only had a third of an inch of rain up until that point which is way below normal.  Last weekend’s rain added a good 8 tenths of an inch to that total.  But really we could use some more and it seems to be in the forecast for tomorrow night.  I hope it is the nice gentle soaking rain like last weekend because it would be great for the peas, lettuce, scallions, collards, and pearl onions that are already in the field.  I hope to add two varieties of kale and beets tomorrow.  Sad story–the Red Russian Kale already has aphids but we are already treating it.  It makes me worry about insects and bugs for the rest of the season.

I am learning about all these random things.
I had a mystery about why the peanut butter was missing from the mousetraps.  I assumed that mice were eating it and not setting it off (sometimes baby mice don’t set off the traps).  It wasn’t until I noticed a certain slimy substance on the trap.  Drum roll please!!  I have found that slugs are eating the bait (peanut butter).  Who would have known?!  I have also found that slugs like pepper seedlings.  We had an incident where one rogue slug ate a few but we took care of him.

Elmerton is a work in progress as always.  Week before last, I spent about a day trenching out there so that we can bury a fence.  We are trying to do everything we can to keep those darn groundhogs out of the field.  I haven’t seen them this year but that doesn’t mean they aren’t around.  I don’t know how long they hibernate but we are on the offensive.  This week we buried about 300 feet of fencing, about 10-12 burrows and 5 holes under the fence.

While I was out at Elmerton I found no less than 8 praying mantis egg sacks.  The egg sacks look like foam almost the size of walnut.  They are usually attached to some sort of brush or small stick about 2-3 feet off the ground to protect them.  I am amazed and love that there are so many around.  Crazy that I was looking for groundhog holes to fill and not these wonderful egg sacks.  Praying Mantis makes me think of my childhood because I used to catch them and keep them in my bug box all summer.  My grandpa made me a special bug box of wood and screen to keep them and carry them around.  I would feed them grasshoppers and other bugs until my mom would make me let them go.  I cherish these childhood memories with family and especially of my grandfather.  They really are priceless.

I guess I will leave it here for tonight and see what tomorrow brings.  Have a great weekend!


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One Response to Update from Josh

  1. maggie ackerman says:

    Yeah for the praying mantises and I’ve heard that ladybugs work for aphids but have never ordered any. Looking to volunteer some time at the farm and waiting for the volunteer schedule or should I just come over?

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