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BROWN BAGGING IT

By Shelly Paulocik

Don't want to spray, Farm and Country's "unEARTHED" column on March 22/94 offered a new alternative to coddling moth control. A B.C. apple grower, Richard Bullock, covers each apples with a brown bag in June. The cost of this operation ($10-15/box of 60-80 apples) is partially offset by the elimination of coddling moth sprays. (The trees are still sprayed for other reasons, but at least the fruit would be fairly protected.) The bags are removed in September to allow enough time to ripen fruit to an attractive red,

This method has been used in Japan for over a century. It's also being tried in California. Generally it works better with varieties such as Fuji and Mutsu.

GIVING PESTS A PROPER `SCENT' OFF

By Shelly Paulocik

Finding it difficult to keep pests away, particularly the four-legged kind? You may find one of these old or new tricks successful. Human hair spread around the edges of a garden or an orchard can keep rabbits and deer away for up to three weeks. Likewise, the strong smell of blood meal also repels these and other pests. Some orchards have even utilized soap, by tying small bars in cheesecloth bags to the trees. It seems even the 'clean' scent of humans scares some pests off! From what I've read Irish Spring and Lifebuoy are the most effective brands for this use. Rain re-wet the bars, releasing more scent each time; so, if you have a long spell of dry weather this method may not work. A trapper in Ohio suggests stringing baler twine (the sisal kind is likely the best) that's been soaked in motor oil around an area you want to protect. He keeps the line six inches off the ground for rabbits, and about five to six feet off the ground for deer (i.e. nose level in both cases). The twine will need to be 'freshened up' with oil occasionally.

With any of these tricks it's valuable to switch from one to another. It seems the little critters catch on after a few months.

MORE ABOUT FAVAS

From an article by Peter Reschke

For those interested in home-grown protein sources, favas are a very promising alternative, especially in short season areas. For many northern Ontario growers who've also experimented with canola, peas, sweet white lupines, favas have several advantages. Generally they yield better, and provide a more consistent amount of protein per acre. They're more successful than lupines at out-competing weeds. They don't pose harvesting problems like peas have for some growers. From an economic standpoint, one northern farmer (Marty Geurts) figures his favas returned $370/acre, based on their protein value. The same farmer still prefers lupines - from a feed perspective. When feeding favas Geurts has found the volume of milk production remains steady, while protein and butterfat components tend to increase.

Copyright 1994 Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


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