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Lincoln/Boston CSA Newsletter, Week 8

CSA Potluck

The CSA Potluck will be this Thursday, July 23, on the Baker Bridge Farm, at 5:30pm.
80 Concord Road in Lincoln.

The insects we don't love

Insects seem to be thriving this year. Unfortunately for us that means the mosquitoes and cucumber beetles are going strong as are the dragonflies and ladybugs. Insect pest pressure has reached frightening levels in many crops but the worst has been the hungry hordes of Colorado Potato Beetles which reduced our early potato varieties to skeletal stalks, old testament-plague style. This wasn't a complete loss as we had planned to harvest some varieties as tiny new potatoes anyway. Thankfully, our later varieties are faring better, retaining some of their leaves, though they will likely end up smaller than they would have been.

The endless rains of June had made it hard for us to fight off the potato beetle infestation with organic pesticides so, despite valiant efforts by middle school volunteers and some of our summer youth to pick the beetles off and squish them, the tic tac-sized squishy red larvae developed into full grown striped parents who are harder to kill and will now eat their fill and drop down into the soil to emerge next year. We have lost this battle. As beetles fall like rain from each plant we dig up, we think of next year with a bit of dread. They will emerge again. We toy with ideas of military-strength flame-throwers, moats surrounding the potato field, and giant vacuums. We hope to be ready. We will try to outsmart them, to make more habitats for their predators, to feed our soil what it lacks so that it can grow healthier plants and to focus on farming as an act of creation rather than an act of war.

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