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On Life, Death and Colorado Potato Beetles

Colorado Potato Beetles! Arrived on our farm in early June and now are in full swing. Friends, I beg you: Squish them while they’re small.

The adults, outrageously gorgeous (they’re in the scarab family, after all), consume about 10 square centimeters of potato leaf each day; their red-brown, pudgy progeny consume 40 square centimeters daily. Unchecked, Colorado Potato Beetles will defoliate your potatoes in a matter of days. 

And Friends, there is no finer way to control their populations than scouting for nickel-sized collections of bright orange eggs under leaves, their voracious larvae and escape-artist adults, squishing all you find. If you want to learn more and may enjoy seeing me cringe, here is a video tutorial about identifying them and what happens next.

We grow an acre of potatoes. We squish untold oceans of Colorado Potato Beetles. 

And Friends, it turns my stomach to turn my hands orange-brown with so much carnage. 

It turns my stomach so much more to think of spraying anything, even an ‘organic’ spray, knowing it won’t be single-species specific, knowing future generations, of all species, will likely suffer more, their choices and resources impoverished for my distaste for long-term honesty and short-term discomfort.

Cultivating life is curating death. 

How I meant to share something more uplifting!

I’ll end here: thank 

* sunshine * soil * potato * fork * farmer * beetle

for its journey. And for joining yours. We may not always be able to save the structure of each being, but we can honor each spirit, making room for ever more spirit in our lives and in our world. 

Now, back to the fields.

Sow Seeds & Sing Songs,

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