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Adventures in Urban Farming

Good and bad news in the garden this week. First, we harvested the first round of peas and green beans. We ate the peas on Monday night – tastiest peas I’ve ever eaten, even though I didn’t cook them quite long enough. The green beans were Wednesday night and just as fresh as I remember from growing up with Grandma’s garden.


A quick tangent. I once got grounded because I spent the afternoon eating the beans out of Grandma’s garden and didn’t have room for dinner. Can you believe it – I actually got in trouble for EATING my veggies.


On Sunday, we noticed that some of the corn was silking up. We have… well had… plans for those first ears of corn. Then on Tuesday morning I went out to tend the garden and mow the lawn. There were little black bugs covering all the ears of corn. They were eating the silk off all the ears. I ran inside and made Sweetie use is research skills (since I can’t find a thing on the internet with less than an hour’s investment – that’s another post). After much scrutinizing of the pictures we determined we had a sap beatle infestation.


More searching and we found the name of a product that would take care of it – organically too. No one carries this product in our area. As far as we can tell you have to order it (but it will ship in 2-5 days right to your door, or to the store for free). Not good enough. The bugs were killing our corn.


I ended up at our local Ace – since it is really easy to get someone to talk to you about your problem/project there. I described what we had and the research we’d been able to do that morning. I had even brought in the product description and label printouts so I could compare products.


I came home with two products – since none of the on the shelf sprays did everything that I needed. One that would kill the bugs today, but would be gone by tomorrow. The other would prevent the bugs from reaching the next stage of development and last for 2 weeks, but wouldn’t kill them right now. Both products are organic and water based (meaning that they will wash easily off the veggies when we harvest them).


I spent the rest of the cool part of the day – well not so cool anymore – spraying all the plants in the garden. I made sure that every bug I could see got a good dose of the spray and thrilled to see them leaving my corn alone as they scrambled to get away from the toxic liquid raining down on them.


Sweaty and a little frustrated, I had to leave the mowing for Wednesday. Fortunately the grass isn’t growing too fast these days.


I do hope that we were able to save some of the corn. I would be a horrible waste to go through all that and end up buying our corn on the cob from the little stand in the mall parking lot.


Back to the good news. I counted out the days and there is time to replant the peas and beans. We’ll get another round of that brand of goodness later in the fall. Now if the other beans would just leave the carrots alone and climb the poles I gave them. And the potatoes would grow at all. And the tomatoes stay in their little cages we’ll have a happy harvest this fall.

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Urban Farming”

  1. Oh, the glamor of farming… I laughed at the part about getting in trouble for eating your veggies. Methinks it wasn’t so much the veggies as the quantity eaten. Nothing like fresh beans, though–habit forming!

    and the bug saga … well, insects think it’s their planet.

    • The bugs may think it’s their planet, but they have to share. In my garden it’s my food not theirs. You eat my garden I show you my skill with the bug spray.

  2. I found diatomaceous earth works pretty good as well, and is also non-poisonous and organic. They’re just the shells of microscopic sea organisms that latch onto the insects’ shells and punctures them, which opens the bugs to dessication and infection. 🙂 When we have bugs eating our veggies, we take a bit, put it in a salt shaker and sprinkle it over the leaves and they generally leave it alone after that.

    Compost tea works too, if you use it as a spray, it’ll deter a lot of bugs.


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