Ok. So I have been biased. It is hard to not be when you share photos and such with the world. Of course, you want to share the best images, the pretty pictures, the good stuff…but that isn’t always fair. So. In this episode, I will be sharing with you a glimpse of the bad, the ugly and end with a little good because it is just no fun to be all negative and junk.
For the bad…just know that this growing season has turned out to be quite challenging for us. Not only is farming on the weekends a bad idea, it is near impossible to do well. Farming is a full-time job. Add excessive rain and mild temperatures to that thought and you get a garden that gets overwhelming if you are not able to tend to it with full-time attention. So, our part-time care soon got overtaken by nature. For the bad, I am showing you our bean and pepper patch inundated with weeds. Weeds. Yep. Weeds kicked my butt three times to Sunday. Pretty much all the green you see in this picture is due to healthy, vigorous weeds. In the background, you might see a pile of debris. That is all of the tomato plants that were pulled yesterday and will be burned. I was too embarrassed to take a picture of them. They were lost to blight and were not pretty to see. Sorry…bias sneaking in again. Back to the weeds…my hands are permanently stained from hand pulling weeds (see – mechanical cultivation is out whenever rain is involved). And the fact of the matter is that I cannot hand weed an acre on a weekend. Nope. Weeds. Grrrr.
The ugly. And I mean U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi, you ugly…kinda ugly. Our other challenge Mother Nature threw at us along with the milder, wetter weather was…bugs. Damn the bugs. Bugs ate our potatoes, damaged our brassicas, destroyed our Brussels sprouts, caused my eggplant starts to completely disappear, ate our kales, and made netting of our bean foliage. Speaking of which…here is the ugly
Those are Mexican bean beetle larvae making netting out of our provider green bean foliage. They have found us and in abundance. What is the organic treatment for this? Unfortunately, the most effective treatment is manual squashing. And man, are these guys juicy. It is gross. Sadly, being a part-time farmer makes controlling insect pests a crazy hard challenge. There are not enough weekend hours to go through the whole garden and squash these nasties. They are my ugly. Bugs. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR through tightly clenched jaws.
Ok. So the bad and the ugly have dramatically impacted our garden this growing season. I feel that the weather has impacted all growers. Some have the time and resources to do a more successful battle than we were able to do, but I know it will continue to get better with each passing year and with more experience. I am done about the bad and the ugly.
Now for a little good…
the end result still makes it all worthwhile!