Monday, October 19, 2009

Pesticide Poisoning? Clean Up When You're Done!

My dog, Lily, is all mutt pup. Not quite a year old, she runs the farm (literally and figuratively). Having had a very calm and slightly handicapped dog before (Emmylou had no right front paw) who passed away last year, I knew what I was in for with a puppy. But you know, you really never do.

Sunday morning she came in the house with tremors all over. She was also heavily salivating. I took her to the doggie ER. They suspected some sort of pesticide poisoning, either a permethrin or an organophosphate (like Sevin).

Although we could find no evidence of any pesticide jug that she had gotten into, it's a good time to bring up the issue of putting away things when you're done with them, especially pesticides if you have animals or kids around.

Lily had to spend the night at the vet but she's home and well now. Animal Care Center and Dr Hall, THANKS!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bagging Apples

Ever heard of this? Apple bagging is simply placing individual apples inside bags while they are still on the tree. Bags are put on when fruit is about quarter-sized. Bags remain on til about 3 weeks before harvest. Bagged apples will not color up properly, so taking them off well before harvest is a must.

Why, why, oh why would anyone do this? Well, apples get plenty of disease and insect pests. Most backyard fruit growers do not want to apply lots of pesticides. bagging fruit we are physically keeping the pest off the fruit without having to spray. An organic pest control method.

In addition to using the Japanese apple bags (from the website above), a UK entomologist gave me some nylons. Yes, there is anecdotal evidence that nylons (like what women slip on when trying on shoes) can work to deter pests.

I grow Liberty apple which is very disease resistant, but no apples are insect resistant. Here are my photos of bagged, nyloned, and not-bagged apples.

Pretty cool. But let me tell you, putting bags on apples is dang time consuming, especially the Japanese apple bags. Most of the bags I had put on had fallen off mid-season. The nylons were much easier to put on and did not tend to come off with bad storms and weathering.

The bagged apple was the biggest of the 3, shown below. And you can see what covered each of the 2 bagged apples.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Lovely Artichokes

Nope, artichokes are not my favorite food. Nor are they something we grow in Kentucky.

But....they are such cool-looking plants!

The leaves look like they would feel rough but it's just the opposite. The long, downy hairs on the leaf make it very soft.

They'll never make an artichoke but I could care less. They are beautiful!