Soldiers

We don’t use any pesticides or other toxins on our farm.  If we have a problem with pests, we have to depend upon other solutions.

Last year harlequin bugs did a lot of damage to our gardens. I don’t recall ever having seen one here before, yet last year they were seemingly everywhere.  I braced myself for another onslaught this year, but so far I haven’t seen a single one.  Nature, it seems, solved the harlequin bug overpopulation problem, with no help needed from me.  In most of our gardens we’re seeing far less damage from flea beetles and other leaf chewers as well this year.

Part of the reason is probably this year’s abundance of soldier beetles, a beneficial insect that eats the bad guys.  In the past we might occasionally see one, this year they seem to be the most common insect in the garden.

Tokyo Bekana

Tokyo Bekana

Collards

Collards

Swiss chard

Swiss chard

English peas.

English peas.

Lettuce

Lettuce

Nature will not allow unhealthy imbalances to long survive.  What we’re seeing this year with our thriving population of soldier beetles is what we’ve seen over and over again here–by avoiding monocultures and giving nature a chance to function without chemical intervention, a natural healthy and sustainable balance of life occurs.

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