Friday, June 19, 2009

Resistance to the onslaught! EOSF #6

So 25,000 or so weevils decided to walk towards our barrier, what about the 25,000 or so weevils who walked the other way?? Turns out if you whine enough to the government something can be done. We were in contact constantly with the BC Government Berry Specialist about our weevil problem. Mostly getting advice we didn’t want, but still he realized we had a bad problem and short of ploughing in all the strawberries there appeared to be limited options for us. He volunteered to have 1000 experimental plants sent to us that were developed to be weevil resistant. CANYOUBELIEVEIT? Yep, 1000 plants showed up on the bus. We ploughed in the worst section of our field, where there was the most weevil damage and planted the plants, like a big target for the buggers! So 25,000 bugs walked one way to our barrier and 25,000 went the other to the “weevil resistant” plants. The plants on the other side of our weevil resistant plants were only 2 years old but already showing damage, so we had plans to plough them in….Last year we dug up plants from around our farm to check for grubs (weevil larvae) before obvious damage showed above ground. Seriously we had never seen such amazing root systems. Our first year on the farm the roots we checked out were PITIFUL in comparison – but we didn’t know any better. Apparently weevil resistant strawberry plants are, well, resistant! The harvest from them was AMAZING! The plants from the barrier protected field were and remain unbelievably strong and healthy into their second year (this year). Last year we were able to commercially order the weevil resistant variety and planted them as “trap rows” around the varieties we like better. So between 1 and 2 year old fields, on either side of ditches, etc, we plant 3 rows of weevil resistant plants to stop the “migration” of our arch enemy, the evil weevil!

Next: Arrival of the piggies and hubby doesn’t speak to his beloved (nutty) wife for a week :)

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