This week, we noticed the emergence of our Bug Nemeses...
The japanese beetle is an invasive species that eats many leafy plants, but we find that they especially like our statice, borage, and sunflowers. We never see them on a few crops including asclepias (See right). You can see in the picture above that they eat big chunks out of leaves. It's important to diminish their numbers on the farm because the beetles have a pheromone that attracts more beetles. That's why the beetle traps you can get at Home Depot don't work; they'll trap beetles, but they'll also attract infinitely more beetles.
We battle them by getting up early, putting a few inches of water in a bucket, and doing a hunt for beetles. We shake the beetles from the plant they're on into the water. Water doesn't actually kill them, though it does contain them; we have to put a glass over the top of the buckets full of beetles, and then put the buckets in the sun. The heat kills them eventually, but the whole process is lengthy and not fun at all.
On the bright side, Local Color Flowers got a gazillion orders on Friday, which means we did a 5 am emergency harvest Saturday morning. When we arrived at the studio in Charles Village at 7:30 am, we discovered we were lazy sleepyheads compared to Hillen Homestead and Locust Point Flowers, who got there before us!
Farmers and florists share a love and respect for the beauty that nature provides. It's always such a pleasure to bring bucket after bucket of flowers into a studio, and delight over them together with the florist.
I wish your fathers some flowers!