The Newbie Homesteader: June Harvest & A Go At Organic Pest Control

So, I realize it is now July 1st, but I harvested and took the photos on Friday; I’m just late getting this out.  By now, I have a huge bunch of carrots, several heads of cabbage, enough Swiss chard to feed us and our chickens, lots of weeds, etc.  But it’s glorious work.  It must be.  It has to be done!

We have already eaten everything in the picture below, and it was delicious!  We boiled the beets, fried up the beet greens and zucchini in butter, ate the carrots and beans raw, and were pleased to thank the Lord for blessing us with this food as we sat around the family table to enjoy the beginnings of our harvests.

  Our June harvest…

zharvest 2

Beets, zucchini, green beans, and carrots

Some home-grown, sun-kissed faces…

zharvest 1

zharvest 5

 

Cabbage

cabbage 2

We harvested two heads of cabbage on Friday, and there are more ready in the garden to be harvested today.  Cabbage soup and kim chi are on our menu this week.

 

Carrots

carrots 2

 

Swiss Chard

 

 

Bush Beans and Pickling Cucumbers

We got this wonderful trellis idea from the book “The Backyard Homestead”.  My husband built a wood frame (with A-frame supports, so it’s slanted) and attached chicken wire.  We have 16-18 pickling cucumber plants along this 20′ row.

cucumbers 1

Pickles

The kids ate this one before it could make it into a pickle jar

cucumbers 2

Tomatoes

Friday, my children harvested the very first ripe cherry tomato!  (This is not it)

tomatoes 4

Zucchini Squash

These plants looked so sad, sorry, and stunted when we finally got them into the ground.  Praise God my husband is an excellent gardener.

squash 1

 

Organic Pest Control: Squash Bugs

Here my daughter is carefully removing them from the inside of a flowering pumpkin plant.  She’s being careful with the plant but squishing the bugs.

See the little pumpkin starting to form behind the flower?

 

squash bugs

 

Organic Pest Control: Cabbage Worms & Aphids

I’ve already lost an entire cabbage plant to cabbage aphids and cabbage worms.

These clusters (below) of cabbage aphids are not a welcome sight.

cabbage aphids

 

Cabbage Worms

 

cabbage worms and eggs

Can you see the little green worm (vertical under my thumb) coming out of a hole it just chewed?

Now can you spot the two tiny green eggs in the bottom right corner of the picture?

 

What to do?

I made a spray out of cayenne powder, garlic powder, water, and liquid hand soap based on some recommendations I found online.  But since we couldn’t spray until evening, the children and I gave each cabbage plant a thorough rub-down  (squishing all of the bugs and worms with our bare hands).  My kids are hard workers–I was very impressed.

We first sprayed our cabbage plants with the homemade spicy solution Friday night and then sprayed them lightly a couple of times since then for safe measure (I really didn’t want to lose any more cabbage plants to pests!).  We haven’t seen a single pest or fresh bite in the leaves since using our homemade spray.  I absolutely recommend giving it a try!

 

 

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