Monday, August 17, 2015


We farm in a very particular way.

We describe how we grow our vegetables as chemical free. Of course, everything is a chemical...water is H2O, and we use that! We also use compost. Delivered to us every year by a tractor trailer.

We never use insecticides, fumgicides, herbicides or pesticides. Growers can use either organic or synthetic based of any of those chemicals. A grower with organic certification can use those, as long as they are not synthtetic in composition.

We have learned a lot about what takes care of the bugs that eat our vegetables. So many bugs that eat other bugs. 

Praying mantis and ladybugs eat aphids. There is a parasitic wasp that lays eggs in tomato hornworms, the larva eat the inside out of the worm, killing it in the process. Bald faced hornets eat house flies, snatching them in the air. Cicada killers take them out. Soldier bugs. Assasin bugs.

And then our favorites appear. We see a variety of toads and frogs. Snakes and turtles too. We hope for salamanders someday!

My father was curator of the division of herpetology at the Smithsonian. Part of the reason we grow the way we do is a tribute to him, and what he taught me about small things having an impact. That enough pesticide to kill most pests kills most beautiful things too. And this, a sticky toed frog climbing straight up the side of a bucket, is one of the beautiful things.

And while we are in the shade resting on a hot afternoon, or inside sleeping at night, this frog and more like it are quietly eating their weight in bugs, daily.

That's why we farm the way we do.

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