Crops

We have a wide variety of fruits and produce on the farm. Look here to learn about them.

snapdragons

We could probably write an entire digital riff on snapdragons without breaking much of a sweat–how they tend to dominate the garden when they appear, how some flowers gently waft into your consciousness and some, like this bunch, blast right to your frontal cortex, and how these blooms signify that a very elusive summer is here, at least for the moment–and it is not a moment to waste.

But why go on blathering when we have more graphic evidence fresh from our camera. So here’s a little pictorial tour of the farm on a rare sunny summer morning. (Enjoy it, we probably won’t have too many more to share this summer.)

The crew was up early this morning to get the onions out of the ground before the next round of storms blows in off the Pacific.

onions

You can’t see the bees buzzing through our lavender beds but there are hundreds–maybe thousands–in there. Their hum and the lavender scent is almost a sensual overload.

English lavender

We spotted these perfect little strawberries hiding in the bed Louisa has been carefully tending through the spring. First we shot a picture of them–then we ate them.

strawberries

Rebecca and three apprenti took a break from their morning field chores to trim radicchio in the packing shed. On the farm, you can’t waste a minute when the sun shines.

radicchio

Lately, whenever we get a sunny day Rebecca has been leading prospective brides through our flower gardens. By the time they get to the daisy patch everyone is giddy.

daisies

Most mornings we scan The Stranger’s blog, the Slog, to see what David Goldstein is thinking. Today, he was boasting about the peas in his garden. Well Goldy, you want to see peas…

peas

We saved this snapshot of one of the cherry trees in the orchard for the last. We didn’t get many cherries last year because the rain and chill kept the bees inside. So we’re treasuring this year’s bounty.

cherries

Hard to beat a sunny summer morning on a small farm.

Persephone

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Rebecca keeps a copy of The Birders Handbook on her bedside table and every time an unusual spring visitor shows up outside our window she grabs it to check out the new arrival.

townsend's solitaire

We’ve had plenty of avian visitors this spring and the handbook is well thumbed. A red breasted finch showed up recently and we thought we heard a barn owl hooting a few nights ago. Rebecca definitely spotted a Townsend’s Solitaire last week.

 We’re not really serious birders–no lifelists or anything like that.  But one of the side benefits to raising a smorgasbord of chemical-free crops is the profusion of birds that show up to feast on the leftovers. Arguments may still flare between pro and anti-organic supporters but those birds know what’s good for them. 

It is early in the season–most of our plant starts are still in the greenhouse or huddled under row cover–but each morning these days we wake up to a cacaphone of calls from the local flocks of breakfasting, mating and nesting robins and chickadees. The sparrows are everywhere. You can just about set your watch on the arrival of the first Violet Green Swallows–April 16 last year. (Rebecca once insisted we do a Google search to check for possible swallow kills along our flock’s migratory route from Central America after they were week late arriving.)

The little birds scour the fields for leftover seeds and snatch early insect hatches on the fly, providing a wonderful display of avian aerobatics. Everybody seems to dig into the feeder we put out on the porch for Cleo, our resident pea hen. The big birds, hawks and owls, show up to feast on the little guys and on the rodents who foolishly poke their noses out of their burrows looking for seeds.

A young eagle has been cruising our fields for several days now, stopping here and there to pick up bits of straw and branches for a new nest up in the tall firs that fringe the hillside and, perhaps incidentally scouting the chickens who are busy scratching up their areas. At night, a couple of bard owls sit down by the farm gate, waiting and watching in the dark, and regularly sounding off  like tiny foghorns.

All this, of course, in addition to the hens, turkeys and ducks scrambling their own turf on the lower pastures. Some days it sounds like the Bronx Zoo birdhouse around here when the sun climbs over the horizon.

But the real actors are the crows. We have mixed emotions about these guys. They can destroy a newly planted row of starts and they occasionally scare the bejesus out of the chickens when the fowl are still small. The only thing we have found to be successful in scaring them away is to hang a crow carcass on a branch. Our neighbor and uber-photographer Bob Dash has been gaining some fame with this shot he made a couple of years ago.

Scarecrow and silver chimes.

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Our greenhouse measures 25 feet by 50 feet, not much of a footprint, even for a microfarm like ours. But at this time of the season it is the hub of the universe–at least our universe–the place where nearly everything gets its start.

It is still cold outside–close to or below freezing most nights. With all the apprentice yurts occupied,and their wood stoves fired up and wafting gentle smoky plumes, one side of the yurt meadow has the look of a busy small factory. But the real factory–a food factory–is running inside that greenhouse on the other side of the meadow. No smoke there.
More like fog. It was so warm in the greenhouse this morning that when we came in from the cold to take this picture of Louisa tending some pepper starts our camera lens fogged up.
But fog or no, it’s a pleasant place to work on a chilly morning and the farmers and apprentices are spending lots of time in there whipping up our soil mix–actually a soil-less, sterile seed-starting mix made with coir, perlite, and, in various permutations, lime and organic fertilizer. We don’t reveal the exact composition of that special sauce, we’re kind of like McDonald’s and Coke in that respect.

We’re also experimenting with a new sterlile soil mix we got from Specialty Soils  in Covington. Plus, we’re trying a variety of growing platforms this year–plug flats, seedling trays and regular open flats to see which work best for different crops. Some flowers, for instance, dont like their roots disturbed and we’ve got them in the plug flats and seeding trays. Other things like cauliflower, basil and some herbs we plant in open flats.

baby Chinese Cabbage in plug flats

In recent years, many farmers have switched completely to plugs and seedling trays because they use less mix. We still go with the open flats because…well, because they work and you don’t usually mess with success. Also, plug flats need more water, which can tie you down to the greenhouse in the early spring when they need a lot of tlc.

We’ve put more emphasis this year on growing starts for home gardeners–more variety and more diversity. Hard to say whether its the sagging economy, rising gas prices, or people just are getting more interested in growing some of their own food, but there is a noticeable boom in home gardening taking place.

We’re all for that, even if it means losing some of our Farmers Market veggie sales to home gardeners. But it should also prove instructive to those newbies–coaxing produce from the ground up is a lot trickier than it looks in the seed catalogs. Nice to get a running start with a tomato, pepper or basil start. We figure the trend will help make people appreciate what we do too.

In truth, however, we think the world would be a better place if a lot more home gardeners experienced the pleasure of nurturing and tending their own starts. We’d gladly cede some of that business–right now, our own little food factory is maxed out.

Persephone

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This just in–take a look at this year’s giant, giant pumpkin here. Looks like Zeke’s got a way to go for the trophy. No mention of a milk diet.

Persephone

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bee and apple blossom

One of the highlights of our season has been our annual apple pressing. It usually takes place in early October and has become a local favorite, especially for kids who love to help turn apples into cider. Folks generally bring their own apples and apple dishes, and we provide the hand press, some apple nibbles and plenty of music, plus a bunch of our own fruit.

Not this year though.

In addition to being the Summer That Wasn’t we also lost another critical piece of weather this season. Usually, just about the time the apple blossoms flower in the spring, we get a stretch of nice weather. During that weather window pollinators–bees–stream into the orchard and the place comes alive with busy insects.

To get apples those bees must shift pollen from the stamen of one type of apple blossom to the pistil of another. They do it by tracking pollen from flower to flower as they flit around gathering honey. It’s elementary biology and the equation is pretty simple: spring sunshine + bees + apple blossoms=apples in the fall.

We could elaborate at length on this but the New York Times did a nice job in this recent story on pollinators.

It sounds like the East Coast had plenty of pollination this year, but here in the Northwest everything fell out of sync. Instead of sunshine, it was cold and rainy during apple blossom time. The bees don’t fly in that weather, so they stayed home. The blossoms came and went, many unpollinated, and now only about a third of our trees are bearing fruit.

Take a walk through the orchard now and it is feast:

 Or famine.

 The Spartans, Fiestas and Empires did just fine. Our Tomkins County Kings–a staple here in most years–were a bust.

Like so many things on a farm, it’s a delicate dance. When the timing works the results can be very satisfying. Our Japanese plums, for example, caught the flower/bee cycle just right and they fruited like gangbusters this year. The European Plum trees next door flowered a bit early and bore no fruit at all. Our cherry trees were so bare of fruit that Louisa didn’t even bother netting them, leaving the handful of ripening cherries for the birds,

So it goes. We’ve had a few apple pies this fall, but we’ll miss the homemade cider. And, even more, we’ll miss our friends and neighbors and the whole ceremony of making cider.

Better luck next year.

Persephone

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Giant Pumpkin

Everybody’s got to have a way out-there goal in life, right? Some folks aim to run a marathon in under three hours, some want to memorize the dictionary, a few are set on flying into space.

 And then, there is Rebecca. Ask her about her goal and she gets this dreamy expression.

“This year,” she says, with the look of someone headed up Mt. Everest, “I am going to grow a really, really big pumpkin.”

Well, why not? True, these things can get a tad obsessive, but how many of us follow through on our dreams. Lots, it turns out, if you move in giant pumpkin circles. There are whole clubs of these people out there, prepping pumpkins for stardom. And their pumpkin pinup is this 1,725-pound whopper in Ohio last year. (Check it out at www.bigpumpkins.com )

Whatever floats your fantasy. But it turns out growing giant pumpkins isn’t all that easy. It requires focus,  skill, space, a bit of luck and even an occasional administration of pumpkin steroids for those who choose to go that route, we’re told.

We aren’t into chemical additives, but Rebecca has been reading up on growing giant pumpkins–her favorite book, “The Perfect Pumpkin”, is put out by Storey Publishing. For this year’s quest, she planted three pumpkin seeds in May in the squash patch on our lower field. They all came from good stock–Dill’s Atlantic Giant seed company boasts it is the go-to outfit for serious giant pumpkins growers. Rebecca’s plan was to grow the pumpkins to a grotesque size, then hold a guess-their-weight contest with the best guesser getting the massive pumpkin.

She and Joel, our apprentice, named the three little starters Puff, Tinkerbell and Ezekial and right off you could just tell these were no ordinary pumpkins. Even the seeds were huge.

Puff perished early–we’re not quite sure why, but it seemed to be from dehydration. Giant pumpkins drink lots of water and they also like hot weather, something else that has been in short supply around here this year. We did give the other two, known among the farmers conversationally now as Tink and Zeke, plenty of compost and they appear to be doing just fine.

The hard part came yesterday when Rebecca decided to narrow her focus to a single pumpkin as we head into the back stretch of the season. Tink…Zeke, Zeke…Tink…not an easy choice. After some serious back-and-forthing she picked Zeke. (We’re not sure why. These things are intuitive, not always easy to explain.)

Anyway, Zeke it is. And here’s a snapshot of the farmer’s choice. We stuck a gallon milk jug next to him for comparison.

Zeke, the soon-to-be giant pumpkin

 With Zeke’s selection for stardom, Rebecca has begun some serious grooming of her prize pumpkin. For example, she’s snipping off all the plant’s competing female blossoms, like so:

Then there is the compost–we’re using our best stuff on Zeke. But the most interesting tactic is a deft slit in the pumpkin’s stem with a wick attaching Zeke to a bowl of  milk. Okay, that sounds a little off-the-wall. But according to giant pumpkin lore, pumpkins love milk. If it works, Zeke should have a growth spurt soon, kind of like what happens when your five-foot-five teenage boy starts slurping quart cartons of milk out of the refrigerator. Next thing you know, he’s six-foot-four.

Zeke chowing down at the milk bowl

Sadly, for those of us who love pumpkin pie, Zeke is being bred for size, not for eating. With any luck, later in October, our little pumpkin will turn into a musclebound  giant–like a dinner table partner who isn’t much of a conversationalist, but has dynamite abs. We’ll keep you posted on his progress and maybe, when he grows up, you can join in the fun and try your luck guessing his weight.

If you win–and Zeke grows the way Rebecca hopes he will–you can come by the farm and pick up a thousand pounds of inedible, but handsome, pumpkin.

Persephone

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One of our new volunteers at the farm, Michael Corcoran, is headed for the Peace Corps this winter. But meanwhile he’s helping out here. On Monday, while Michael and some of the apprentices were ripping out just-harvested corn stalks and trundling them to a compost pile, he asked an interesting question.

Why, he wondered, were we deconstructing one half of the cornfield while the other half was still being picked? What was the rush?

Anyone who has driven past a farm with a large cornfield in early autumn is familiar with the bucolic view of row-on-row of harvested cornstalks sitting in the sun, waiting to be cut down–one of these days. No hurry there.

But here we practice what is known as succession planting and that means farming on the run. Two days after Michael and the apprentices stripped out those corn stalks, our apprentice Mondrian was wrestling the roto-tiller through the cleared-off corn rows.

Mondrian and the rototiller

In the afternoon, Louisa and the rest of the crew moved in to seed the patch with a cover crop of field peas. When those peas mature later next month they’ll be tilled in and we’ll plant garlic there.

So it goes all over the farm–harvest, clear and replant, over-and-over. When you are growing the amount of food we need to grow to satisfy CSA subscribers, farmers market customers, restaurant clients and others, all from a bit over two acres of cultivated land, you can’t let the grass grow under your feet–or the corn stalks sit around in the field. We usually get three plantings of corn into the ground during the season. We’ll do four bean plantings this year.

Succession planting can take several forms. You can harvest one crop and then immediately plant another in the same ground. You can plant the same crop at timed intervals so one or another planting is always maturing. You can also put two or more complementary crops with different maturing dates into the same row.

We do all of these. We plant salad greens, for example, about eight times a season, staggering some varieties and growing others successively. We also sometimes grow lettuce and broccoli together since they have different plant architectures but similar growing requirements. And of course we intersperse these with cover-crop planting to help keep up soil fertility.

Generally, we prefer to let nature set the pace for the farm. But sometimes it helps to nudge nature along.

Consider what we’re talking about here. Not only are we planting a variety of crops that will be ready to harvest at various times through the season–dozens in our case–but sometimes we’ll do several plantings of the same crop so that it will be available for a longer period during the season. Take spinach. People love to eat spinach in the spring and we grow a lot of it then. But they also like it in the fall, so after we finished up our spring crop we cover-cropped the field for the early summer, then planted the spinach we’re harvesting now.

A lot of people picture farmers sitting on their tractors, spending the late summer days moving leisurely up and down rows of crops that have been in the ground since Memorial Day.  Here’s another picture:  It is 6 A.M. and still dark outside. Rebecca is at the dining room table poring over the weather forecasts and diagramming the farm layout, row-by-row for next week, next month, and next year–constantly tweaking each layout. Should we be planting broccoli or cauliflower soon? What about beets? Which rows should be set aside for next spring’s arugula harvest? What’s the prognostication on early frost this year?

Call it pre-dawn farming. It is part of her daily routine–before she joins the rest of the crew in the salad bed, cutting, washing and packing greens for the CSA, the market, or a nervous caterer who needs 35 pounds of fresh salad by noon.

As we’ve noted elsewhere, this ain’t Farmville or some other simplistic kind of video-game farming. It’s a highly integrated, very complex form of agriculture that takes a lot of focus–like constantly manipulating an agricultural Rubic’s Cube. If you want to run a  successful microfarm, you learn how to do that. And done right, you can produce an amazing amount of produce off a relatively small piece of land.

Just don’t plan to sleep in.

Persephone

Remember how back in May we gave you all those great tips on planting and transplanting your tomatoes? Well forget all that. We’re not going to have any–or many–tomatoes this year. No tomatoes at the market, no tomato tasteoffs, and damn few tomatoes for anybody else either. The problem is called late blight, and it’s a killer. But first a bit of history.

Back in the late summer of 1845, Ireland’s potato farmers began noticing something was amiss. Their potato plants were turning black and dying. Potatoes were a critical component of the rural Irish diet and smaller outbreaks had wiped out crops and left famine in their wake before. But this time the disease–a fungus called Phytophthora infestans–killed half the island’s  potato crop. Perhaps a million people died of starvation–some 12% of the population. Those who survived, ran for their lives, including many who emigrated to the U.S., laying down a new cultural strata here.

So what’s that got to do with our dead tomatoes? The same fungus that wiped out Ireland’s potatoes is killing our plants.

All this month, we have watched with dismay as the leaves of our tomato plants have blackened and died, along with their fruit.

 Yes, we know we just wrote about herbicidal damage from Clopyralid and Aminopyralid–and we’ve had state inspectors in to try to nail down their presence in our compost. (More about that when the results come back in six weeks or so.)

But meanwhile, late blight has been the knockout blow for our reeling tomatoes. And maybe our potatoes as well. You can’t say we didn’t see it coming–the same fungus all but wiped out tomato and potato harvests on the east coast last year and with our freaky coastal NW weather tomatoes are always a crapshoot. We usually try to protect our plants by spraying them with compost tea, an organic brew that contains so many good bacteria that they crowd the bad guys off the leaves.

But compost tea wasn’t going to do the job in the face of this summer’s endless parade of cool, damp mornings–perfect incubation weather for Phytophthora infestans. The late blight moved in with amazing speed. You can’t rip out the plants fast enough to get ahead of it once the spores are in the air. It happens so fast you can’t even save the fruit. You just watch your beautiful tomatoes turn a sickly brown and die.

Of course, we’re not the starving Irish of the 1840s, and we’re not planning to leave our blackened stalks and hit the road in search of some blight-free nirvana. Our farm is churning out vegetables these days and our CSA subscribers and market customers are getting plenty of produce–the cucumbers, for instance, are going nuts this year. But year-in and year-out our customer surveys tell us that what our buyers wait for at this point in the season are those wonderful homegrown tomatoes.

Sorry. Not this year.

If you too have seen evidence of late blight here are a couple of must-do responses:

–Monitor your plants closely. That means checking daily, or even several times a day. Look for brown spots on the plant stems and a white fungal growth spreading down the stalk. Also, look for nickle-size brown patches on the leaves and white fungal growth underneath, especially in the early morning or after a rainstorm.

–Rip those dying plants out of your garden pronto–not just the infected ones but the healthy looking ones next to them. Don’t try to save them. They’re toast. And worse, they’re giving off spores that can travel long distances so you are probably contributing to the next guy’s blight while you dither.

–Don’t burn those plants. That will just send some spores into the air. Double-bag them and get them to a landfill.

–And finally, check later to make sure you have not gained some volunteer plants springing up from seeds that dropped from this year’s infected crop. Be ruthless and kill them since they likely are haboring this very contagious disease.

Next post, we’ll try to have better news.

Persephone

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The first hints of trouble began in early spring. That’s when e-mails began circulating from farmers around western Washington that something very bad was happening to some of their crops. By June, peas, peppers, beans and tomato starts in the greenhouses and fields at Alm Hill Gardens, a 70-acre community farm in Everson, near Bellingham, were withering and dying. The farm says it lost $250,000 in produce. Another Whatcome farmer told the Bellingham Herald he lost $40,000 in salad greens and potatoes in two months.

What was happening, according to Clayton Burrows, whose Growing Washington non-profit runs Alm Hill Gardens, was that somehow a powerful herbicide, Clopyralid, and its even more powerful chemical cousin, Aminopyralid, had tainted the farm’s compost. Dow Agrosciences, a Dow Chemical Co. unit that makes the herbicides, boasts they last longer and are more potent than most other weed killers.

Burrows was stunned since Alm Hill, like our farm, raises its crops organically, which means it uses no chemical fertilizers or herbicides. But it does use compost made from manure sold by a local dairy. Burrows says it is likely that hay sprayed with Clopyralid and Aminopyralid was being sold to brokers, who sold it to truckers, who sold it to horse farms and dairies like the one who supplied it to Alm Hill. The farm composted it and spread it on its plants. At least six other Whatcom farms and several local gardeners have told Burrows they are having similar compost problems.

You can read about the disaster Clopyralid and Aminopyralid are causing in Whatcom County in a story I just posted on the online news site, Crosscut.com .

The herbicides first showed up in compost near Spokane. In 2001, Craig Cogger, a Washington State University soil scientist, tracked them from commercial compost back to eastern Washington hay fields. The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) banned the use of Clopyralid on lawns and turf after six commercial composters, including Cedar Grove Composting in Maple Valley, sued Dow in state court in Illinois. Cristina Sanchez, their attorney, told us in a telephone interview from Dallas that Clopyralid’s unusually long staying power  “is a product defect” that Dow knew could ruin compost. Dow denies that.

Its not clear why WSDA didn’t extend its 2002 ban to the herbicide’s use on hay. “There’s been a historical problem with Clopyralid in compost and manure,”  says WSDA’s spokesman, Jason Kelly. But Kelly says that while WSDA investigators found traces of Clopyralid and Aminopyralid in compost and crop samples at Alm Hill, where they have been testing since June, the state has taken no action.

“The department takes this very seriously,” said Kelly. “We’re still trying to nail down which chemicals are to blame.”

That could take several more weeks, he said, and meanwhile, Kelly said farmers who suspect their crops might have been damaged by the herbicides should stop  taking them to market. “It is illegal to market crops that have been impacted by an herbicide that has not been approved for that crop,” Kelly said.

That’s a big help. But here on Persephone Farm we’ve been aware of Clopyralid and Aminopyralid for quite a while. Back in the early spring, after the warning e-mails started circulating, Rebecca and Louisa began isolating suspect manure-based compost from our most susceptable crops–legumes and nightshades. We substituted compost we make that doesn’t use manure in its place. Rebecca  also ran tests of our manure-based compost on pea starts in the greenhouse.

We didn’t see any problems–until last month.

That’s when Louisa spotted some dahlias we had composted with the suspect stuff that were withering. The flowers, which usually sport robust blooms, were spikey and stunted. Here’s Louisa holding one of the dahlias that got compost (on the left) and another that did not (on the right.) It’s not hard to tell the difference.

Then a pea cover crop we had spread with compost began withering. We had also spread  compost on some bean plants that began to wither as well. Then we saw Burrows news about Alm Hill Gardens and learned more about the problems in Whatcom County.

As you might suspect, we’ve talked a lot about this. The contaminated compost could end up costing us thousands of dollars in lost crops. We’re not sure yet if Clopyralid and Aminopyralid are to blame, but the signs point that way.

This is one of those situations that ends up with people pointing fingers everywhere and no one taking the blame. Tracking a shipment of hay contaminated with Clopyralid or Aminopyralid through the various hands as it moves hundreds of miles from a hayfield in eastern Washington to a vegetable or fruit farm on west side of the state is just about impossible. Dow Agrosciences says when it first heard about compost problems back in 2002 it rewrote its Clopyralid label to say don’t spray this stuff on crops that might be composted. It also told farmers using Aminopyralid, which is about four times as powerful as Clopyralid, not to use it on crops destined for compost. That’s enough, a company spokesman says.

“From our perspective, when we look at the amount of Aminopyralid sold and the problems from it, we feel our stewardship has been effective,” Bob Masters, one of Dow’s rangeland scientists, explained when we called the company for answers.

All well and good. That might get Dow and the hay farmers off the hook in court, but farmers raise hay mainly to feed animals. Quite often the trucker who buys it from a broker and delivers it to dairies and horse farms hasn’t seen the herbicide label and doesn’t have a clue what is on it. In turn, when the dairies and horse farm get rid of their manure they don’t know the provenance of the hay their animals ate. And nobody–least of all the farmer at the end of this conveyer belt–has the means, time or knowledge to test for an herbicide that is lethal down to parts-per-billion.

So who is to blame when the tomatoes start dying?

Well, everyone–and no one.

We haven’t been asked yet, but here’s what we think. Instead of wasting a lot of time and money trying to trace tainted hay/manure/compost in Whatcom County–and maybe other locations as well–WSDA needs to start at the head of the chain and quickly ban the spraying of Clopyralid and Aminopyralid on hay. It’s pretty clear there’s no other way to keep a check on these potent herbicides.

That’s going to cost Dow money and it will probably make some hay farmers’ unhappy too. But last time around they got their way–Dow and Ag groups representing big hay and wheat growers fought additional restrictions on Clopyralid in 2002. Look at the grief that has caused. There are plenty of alternative herbicides to fight weeds. They probably don’t last as long as Clopyralid and Aminopyralid but, as we can see, that’s both a curse and a blessing.  There are no alternatives for a farmer when his tomatoes and peppers start dying.

Of course, we’ve got a horse in this race. We wish WSDA well in its quest up there in Whatcom County, but we also wish it had dug in its heels back when researchers first figured out the problem. As Craig Cogger, the Washington State U. researcher who first traced the link between the herbicides and crop dieoffs, told us, “Even though the hay growers were aware of what was happening I worried there might be problems down the road.”

Well, it looks like the end of the road for Alm Hill Gardens, and maybe a lot more small farmers, and its time for WSDA to stop spinning its wheels.

Persephone

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Some of you have noticed the break in posts. We’ve got a new one coming soon on the herbicide Clopyralid and its stronger, newer cousin, Aminopyralid, that mysteriously seem to be showing up on the farm and killing off dahlias, beans and peas. We’re currently working on a regular news story on this, since they also appear to be showing up elsewhere in the state and wreaking havoc on crops in Whatcom County.

Very odd. Stay tuned.

Persephone

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