Thursday, May 5, 2011

That Mother Keeps You Guessing

I suppose Mother Nature figures I've been at this long enough that she feels she can start hitting me with a few curve balls. What fun is there in being MoNa when you can't shake it up a bit. I've learned how to pick off Japanese beetles and squash bugs and remove squash bug leaves and bide my time until the SVB does its worse. Flea beetles quake in my presence and cabbage worms and I have come to an understanding. They win. I understand.

However, this year she's hit me early and oddly. My squash, zephyr and zucchini are crawling with stripped cucumber beetles.
O.K. They're not this bad. I borrowed this picture from a Penn State site, but when all of the 10 flowers I looked in today each had 1-2 of the boogers in there, it might have well looked like this. I've seen the occasional spotted one late in July, but this is a first and even more surprising because it's so early in the season. How worried/drastic measures should I be and take? I'm hand picking right now, but not thinking that will be enough....I caught two today doing the nasty. I'm sure there will be more in the future.

Thank you all for the wonderful comments and suggestions yesterday. The teacher who taught the class this year has kindly passed down his materials so it's a good start for me. The nice thing (also the hard thing) about it is that the Contemporary Issues class is so fluid. I can do whatever interests me/the kids. I'm thinking of units on genocide, terrorism/counter terrorism, urban sprawl and eco system depletion, gender roles, stem cell research etc.

I'm SERIOUSLY thinking about adding in a unit on genetically engineered foods - especially their effect on the home gardener/consumer. What do you think? What issues should I cover and does anyone have any stellar resources/information to pillage if I do decide to do the unit on the GE foods?

The morning comes early and because I'm no longer shocked, I'll be up late trying to plan something AWESOME! Sweet cucumber beetle-free gardening dreams.


  1. Oh no, cuke beetles already?! I'm scared, and mine haven't even sprouted out there yet LOL! That G.E. unit sounds fantastic, but look who you're asking hehee... seriously though, how cool would it be to help turn the tide and get some of these kids to start questioning the groceries mom & dad bring in - go for it!

  2. Believe it or not, I never saw one of those in my garden until this year, (I think because of ruralty spraying)and I've already seen a couple. Seems an odd year for sure. Stink bugs are already making a mess, too. :-(
    THe bug war rages on.

  3. I looked at that photo and cringed. I'm glad it wasn't yours. At least you only have one or two in your flowers. I pick them out every year, but I never have all that many. I hope this isn't the year that they take over the garden.