Helping Pests Survive?

Pest Management

Although it may seem contradictory, we actively work to make habitats for garden pests.

Integrated Pest Management

The first year we grew kale we had horrible aphid problems. People suggest spraying soap or blending cayenne peppers and spraying this liquid on the leaves, or using commercial insecticides. We took a different route. We did nothing. By doing nothing at all, we provided a valuable source of food to aphid’s natural predators. The next year, we had no aphid problems and we haven’t had any since!

This is called integrated pest management. It works better on small scales and when the pressure to produce perfect looking vegetables isn’t imposed on you. If you tried to “do nothing” on a commercial farm, you’d go out of business. But on small home scales the best pest defence is plant diverse integrated polycultures (a lot of different plants in close proximity) and provide lots of habitat for predators. If you mostly leave this system alone, the pests and predators will find a natural equilibrium. You may lose some of your vegetables to pests, but you likely won’t lose all of your vegetables.

We much prefer to build natural ecosystems and work with nature instead of creating more work for ourselves.

View More Projects

Check out some other stuff we’ve been working on.

    December 12, 2022

    Hugelkultur is essentially a large amount of logs, branches and other woody debris covered in compost, soil. The wood inside acts like a sponge, holding a tremendous amount of water and also providing copious food for fungi.

    Cover cropping is the practise of growing a variety of plants and cutting them (or grazing animals on them) and letting them decompose to build soil. This is the #1 most important strategy for generating fertility without external inputs.

    Mimicking how a forest works, we aim to produce food using woody perennials and agroforestry principles. Functioning food forests have been discovered that are over 150 years old.

    May 23, 2022

    We generate a lot of woody biomass from branches which we burn in pits to make charcoal. We then inoculate this charcoal to make a soil amendment that can last for over 1000 years in our soil.