PLOWSHARE THURSDAY- Good Bug, Bad Bug – Who’s what?

I must give a major shout-out to MNN.com again!  They seem to be providing the best info at a perfect time!  My helpful hint from them this week is much more than a hint:

Good bug, bad bug: How can you tell the difference?

Not only did they provide outstanding specific information on the good vs. bad critters; but they also shared closeup pictures as a visual aid.  KUDOS guys!!

They only list six descriptions, but these are some of the biggies (at least they are for the U.S.).  We have issues with Squash Beetles every year.  Every year we have tried something new to, at least, limit their numbers.  It has been (in our experience) impossible to completely eradicate them, and I am not really sure we should.  We use completely chemical free methods in our garden workings. Some years this is a very hard thing to do.

The huge farm fields around us are mainly hay and pasture (we are half lucky here).  The pasture is great! No one sprays their pasture unless the Canadian Thistle comes back and then you only need to kill the individual plant before the flowers die off (like a dandelion).

Here in northeastern Colorado, they grow to about three feet tall, and they’re a major pain – in more ways than one! You can see from the pics they have needles and will spread like dandelions after blooming.  Our non-chemical method is time-consuming but very effective.  We wait till they flower, then cut off the blooms and spray a mix of vinegar, salt, and dish soap on them (our “go-to” natural spray for bad weeds).

The reason I stated that I am not sure we should eliminate a bug completely is also for natural reasons.  They are here for a purpose.  I do not know what every single one of them does, but I do know that most are food for something else.  I do believe in limiting their numbers by whatever natural means you have at your disposal.

I am still trying to find the purpose for the Yellow-Jacket’s.  Unless they are some specific food for something else, I have no need of them AT ALL!  Personal experience has taught me:

  • They will attack for no reason.
  • They can sting again and again (do not die as a bee does).
  • They might do a little pollination, but nothing to the help from our Bees.
  • They make their nests in the worst possible places.
  • Lastly, they are ALWAYS in my way when I am gardening.

It never fails!  These beasties are worse than our Red Ants!  The sting/bite is about equal, but the Yellow-Jacket can travel from my front yard to my herb garden in a heartbeat (And I know they are watching me planning their next attack!).

Oh well, just had to throw my own two cents in on this one!

 Bee=good.                                           Wasp=bad.

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helbergfarmstories

I love to write. It is one of the constants in my life that brings me joy. I also love to tell stories, read, knit, crochet, weave, plant gardens, raise our own food, play game with my grandson and throw out my wicked sense-of-humor every chance I get (parents fault – they raised us this way, and I am very glad of it!). I have hundreds of great stories from my life that I want to share. Most are very humorous, some maybe not so much. I hope that all are found interesting. Some of the things that have happened to me in life are: • Growing up on a farm in Wisconsin. • Raising and creating 4-H projects for the fair. • Growing food through natural methods (no chemicals here). • Learning (via trial-and-error methods) how to process all kinds of foods. • The death of several loved ones: Parents, fiancé, grandson. • Living through 2 house fires (2nd of which cost me the one grandson). • Having and raising a disabled daughter (20 surgeries in the first 20 years of her life). • Surviving a rape and abusive x-boyfriend and now being able to talk about it. • Giving up everything and moving to another state with $100 in my pocket. • Giving up a steady well-paying job to buy a farm. • Learning and sharing how to really enjoy farm life. • Writing through all of it. These are just samples of all the amazing things I have experienced. I had parents that were amazing! They encouraged all of us to try everything, at least once. Mom tried to get us to enjoy the riches of the world – fine dining (got some great stories on those episodes), how to sit up straight and walk straight to be noticed. She showed us how to walk into a room as if you owned the place. The best thing she taught us was the fine art of storytelling. She grew up with only the radio era folk, so the art of conversation was everything. One regret I have is that I did not keep the letters between her and our Aunt Elaine. They were filled with family happenings and priceless! Dad was a different egg. He and mom seemed like such opposites, but no two opposites were more meant for each other. He was a big, strong, tough man that had been through war times and then something much worse – surviving three daughters! EEEK! Now, looking back, I realize why they both grayed prematurely – we three gremlins. The thing that stands out most in my memory of my father is his compassionate humor. No matter how mad he got at something stupid one of us did, there was always the little twinkle in his eye that told us it was ok. My little sister had him wrapped around her finger – she could do no wrong in his eyes. To best describe him is to let you know that his knick-name for me was “Dumb Shit.” To understand it you may have to watch old Archie Bunker shows – that was my dad. My sisters and I all have some type of talent. The oldest is the wet-noodle. She falls for any stray that comes her way. Then has to feed it and the world (she's an excellent cook by-the-way!) immediately. The youngest is the Artist. She can draw, paint, and/or create so many different things and she too has the passion for cooking. The biggest difference in the two is the first can’t even draw stick people and cooks using shortcuts. The 2nd does everything from scratch – art and cooking. Me, I’m the middle kid. I love to tear things apart and put them back together. I create from scratch – yarn, paint, draw, paper crafts, clay, wood and a number of other things. Cooking is not my passion, I will do it if I have to or if I get an inclination, but it’s not where my heart if. The one big thing we all have in common is our humor. So, my wish here is that as you read my blog (stories), you will find enjoyment in them. What is life if we cannot have a little fun in it?

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