Mother nature has finally decided to cut us a break… at least in the pest department. As I was harvesting our kale, I noticed white egg sacks on the back of some of the kale leaves. At first I began to panic, thinking “great, another battle to wage Braveheart style”. At the moment I was devising my attack plan, Rick Weinzierl stopped by to see how I was doing. Not only is he the head of the SARE program I am in, but he is also an entomology professor at the U of I. Apparently the white sacks are Braconid wasps that have laid eggs in the pesky cabbage worms that have been threatening to destroy our beautiful kale. These wasps do not cause damage, other than the destruction of their hosts. Also, they are not harmed in any way when we apply the weekly application of BT. It was amazing for me to learn about the existence of these insects and they have now become my new best friends.
Kevin and I are trying to be patient while we wait for warm weather to cause our sweet Italian peppers and heirloom tomatoes to ripen. We were very excited to bring in our first 48 pound harvest of green bell peppers on Monday. The wonderful aroma was overwhelming and if I had not been so full snacking on green beans and black cherry tomatoes, I would have eaten at least four.
We are preparing for the fall school year and trying to estimate and devise a planting schedule so that each pound of produce has a home, whether it be out in our greek accounts and/ or at Hendrick House, Presby and Armory. I am ecstatic about planting again and wish this rain would hold off so that we can have time to work the ground and get the seeds in so there is HH farm lettuce and spinach available when school starts.