Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Living off the Land

Our plan for the summer was to sustain ourselves on just the land for our fresh produce. We planted blueberries,  raspberries, and strawberries and were pleasantly surprised to find mulberries and wild blackberries already growing. Our blueberries didn't do as well as we expected. There is a large Japanese beetle population in our neighborhood and despite our efforts (beetle bags and homemade organic insecticide) they all but completely devoured the plants. The good news is that the blueberries are a perennial and will be back next year. I think I've also found an organic solution to these pests. There is a bacteria called milky spore, that when applied to the ground in August infects the beetle larvae as soon as they hatch disrupting the life cycle. It's completely harmless to all other plants, animals, and people and I believe it stays around for a couple of years.
Our raspberries did survive, perhaps because the produce a bit later and are thriving. We wake up each morning, walk Nana (our puppy), then head straight to the raspberry patch to pick our breakfast. If I had my drothers I'd have enough to make jam for jarring, but my little one can't get enough. They don't even make it in the house. No complaints though, she prefers them without any sugar added. We always have next year to plant more.

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