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Bug Fences & Banana Traps

Better Basics for the Home --

Before The Hill Top Farm Farm Stand opened for the season, Edward nailed an old piece of plywood to each end of the stand. On the plywood, in big letters, Agnolia wrote "All vegetables grown organically." Then in smaller letters she wrote "without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides." As the paint dried, Agnolia and Rachael's commitment to sell organically grown produce was made.

Agnolia and Rachael had access to lots of organic fertilizer. They had rich compost piles and several sources of horse and cattle manure. Finding organic products to control pests was more of a problem. Garden center shelves were stocked with sprays, powders and pellets that bore frightening labels. The user was told to wear gloves when mixing solutions, not to inhale fumes, and to contact their physician if any solution spilled on their skin.

Hoping to find some information on controlling pests without using toxic formulations, Agnolia stopped at the bookstore. She was pleased to learn that the author of Clean & Green, Annie Berthold-Bond, had a new book, Better Basics for the Home. After the clerk assured Agnolia the book contained suggestions for controlling garden pests, Agnolia purchased Better Basics for the Home.

On the way home, Agnolia stopped at The Hill Top Farm Farm Stand to show Rachael her new book. Rachael opened Better Basics for the Home to "Garden Pests." Studied the pages for a few minutes and then looked up and said, "I think the twins are going to have some fun with this suggestion, 'broken eggshells are a deterrent to many bugs.' If we save all our egg shells, we can have Lucy and Jacob build bug fences around the tomato, pepper and melon plants."

Agnolia then said, "The twins will have fun with the egg shell fences, but does the book have any suggestions for treating the plants if the bugs get through the fence?"

Rachael said, "Yes!" They have a garlic Spray to which you can add soap. It says -

Soap has been used for centuries as a pesticide. It disrupts the insect's cell membranes, killing the pest through dehydration,
The garlic Spray is made by putting a head of garlic in 2 cups of boiling water. To make the spray soapy, you add 2 t. of vegetable oil and 1 t. of liquid soap. I think we should mix some up and try it." Agnolia, who had now picked up the book, said, "I like this recipe for 'Banana Traps" I never knew there was such a good use for banana peels. The twins love bananas."

As Agnolia left to drive home, Rachael said, "The bugs may not like your new book, but the kids and I will."

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