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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

08/28/12- Good News and Bad News

Good News!
Progress on the greenhouse at Elk's Bluff continues. Yesterday I put in a few hours helping with ventilation pipe for the heat storage system. We should have the entire sub-ground section done by Thursday.

Their plan is still to have a big Open House and party on Saturday, September 15th. See the Facebook announcement at Come one, come all! There will be food, crafts, our books for sale, and music on Saturday, September 15th, 2012, from 2 until 8 pm. Look for the greenhouse on the east side of Highways 7 and 59, just north of Montevideo, Minnesota!

Bad News

I got a phone call today from a contact in the Twin Cities. She wanted to talk about the Great Garlic Disaster, which most of us only heard about at the annual Garlic Festival. Few people realize that most of the garlic in southern Minnesota was wiped out by a freakish invasion of leaf hoppers! These critters, blown in on strange winds from Texas, carried a virus that mostly effects garlic. We're lucky, as a slightly different version effects carrots, cone flowers (eccinacia), and dozens of other plants. She's been having some trouble getting solid information on just what happened, and on whether it's safe to plant her surviving garlic as seed for next year.

I told her that this illustrates something that I've seen in my travels- pretty much everywhere is having plagues of invasive species, or locals gone all out of kilter. I've seen mites, Japanese beetles, leaf hoppers, flea beetles, and various borers. In some places they're worried about grasshoppers going berserk just before harvest.

The problem that concerned her is that nobody seems to be talking about this. As gardeners/farmers we're all effected by such events. Knowing what's going on, and what did or didn't help, is vital. I remind folks that we have a site for discussing issues- It's not much, but it's a way to get the word out. Join us, and post what you've been seeing.

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