It’s been an exciting start to the season! We took a chance with the nice spring weather and planted the field early. It paid off with peas in your shares last week and all the other veggies to come. However, with the beautiful bounty come hungry critters. The deer got to our field early this year and have enjoyed our lettuce heads, beet greens and a whole row of peas. We take animal snacking into account when planning and thankfully we planted more than enough lettuce to get us through. We are currently using some deer netting to cover individual beds of lettuce, beets and carrots. As we harvest those items, we will rotate the netting to other needed areas in hopes to frustrate the deer into going somewhere else.
The milder winter and early spring also have brought an early arrival of cucumber beetles and squash bugs. These two stinkers love the plants from the cucurbit family which include cucumbers, summer squash, pumpkins, winter squash and melons. Since our plants are pretty well established, we are hoping to keep the damage to a minimal. We don’t spray anything toxic on our babies, so our pest process involves checking each plant regularly, scraping off any eggs on the undersides of the leaves, and squashing any adult bugs we see. This can be time consuming, but pays off in the long run when we have beautiful food to harvest.