Keeping the farm growing

So much more is going on at the farm than just the land we work, 
seeds we sow and plantings we tend. 
We are not the only hard workers at the farm.
Our partners are the "good bugs," and natural predators 
who populate the Insectary garden.
Insectary planting bed

Insectary plants are those that attract insects, 
but "the good guys." 
Not just caterpillars and ladybugs, but ground beetles, 
hover flies and parasitic wasps are intentionally introduced

 Think of it this way: An Insectary garden is meant to be
a kind of companion gardening experience that invites insects to live within,
providing the right kind of food and shelter they need to survive and procreate.
The particular plants you grow to attract them do matter but not as much as having an assortment of plants of different heights, and blossoms of various sizes blooming from early spring through late fall, to provide ideal living conditions for the most effective variety of beneficial insect species.

Did you know that the beneficial insects 
that contribute to the health of what we grow 
are likely to be ten times more abundant in an Insectary?

In addition to the carefully chosen plants in the Insectary beds
that surround the farm, some of our popular vegetables and herbs
also invite the "right" insects to maintain proper balance.
Fennel, carrots, dill, parsley, lemon balm, rosemary and thyme turn out to be good choices for us and the heath of the farm's overall ecosystem.

Standing tall in the Insectary is a bird house
 as a haven for the birds that also participate in the 
natural predatory process that occurs at the Insectary.

So while it may seem as if nothing is going on
at this point in the life of these plants,
 the hard workers at the farm toil
even when we are not there.

Without these insects and other natural residents at the farm,
we would not enjoy the bounty it yields for us.

Next week: John and Colby look ahead to a new season.

1 comment:

  1. Love, love, love what you folks are doing. This and the last entry which took us through a morning on the farm were so wonderful. Need to get some school kids out there to learn about the "good bugs".