• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Bugs on Veggies, how do you decide it is infested?

 
Thelma McGowan
Posts: 170
Location: western Washington, Snohomish county--zone 8b
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I consider my garden organic, and I tolerate a certain amount of bugs on my food. But I find myself a bit ashamed of my veggies. when I give people any of my produce I naturally give
them the visually perfect specimens and keep the wierdos for myself. wierdos being bug chewed, lopsided or over grown etc.

Then it occurred to me that maybe my garden is really infested and I just don't realize it. the only threads about bugs here seem to be regarding total plant annihilation.
Are other vegetable gardeners tolerating some bugs or do they take more measures to keep bugs totally away from all the vegetables?

I am ultimately a lazy gardener and I would rather plant more seeds and wider rows so there is extra for the bugs and assorted critters than bother with row covers or meticulously removing bugs etc. Am I missing something.

If an apple has a worm in it do you ditch the apple or cut the worm out and eat it? Do you rinse the lettuce 3 or 4 times or do you just accept that you might eat a couple aphids.

when are there too many bugs on the veggies?
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't have many veggie-eating bugs.  Yip, I'm one of those annoying people who pops up to say "well, my lettuce is perfect".
Actually, there's generally a bit munched here and there, but I don't care.
I must admit though, if I give produce away I'm likely to do a bit of quality control first.   My best-looking baking, jam labels, seedlings etc, etc often end up at someone else's place. I think it's a basic desire to impress, or something.
I really hope you won't find many here in favour of ditching perfectly good food because it doesn't look like it came from a supermarket
 
Saskia Symens
Posts: 122
1
books forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
auntythelma wrote:
I consider my garden organic, and I tolerate a certain amount of bugs on my food. But I find myself a bit ashamed of my veggies. when I give people any of my produce I naturally give
them the visually perfect specimens and keep the wierdos for myself. wierdos being bug chewed, lopsided or over grown etc.


I think it's natural to want to give good looking and pleasing presents, and I do the same.

I'm like you auntie. Actually I might be way worse, I'm even too lazy to remove pests that I could easily remove. Right now the caterpillars are decimating my broccoli and I'm letting them, because I'm thinking they're being destroyed everywhere else, at least my garden is a safe haven for them. Doesn't make a brilliant crop for cabbages and lettuces though... 

I was watching Back to Eden yesterday ( http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/ ) and was totally amazed: This guy is using woodchips and a rake in his garden and nothing else. He easily controls the weeds in the woodchips with his rake, but there are few, and he doesn't get pests. He says because the decomposing woodchips keep so much moisture, his plants are so gorged on water the bugs - who are after fiber - don't like them much (too juicy!!!). It was a revelation to me that a plant having bugs is like a person having a disease: health is sub-optimal, that's why the bugs come, NOT the other way around.
It's worth watching, to say the least...
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8975
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
132
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm very tolerant of bugs on my vegs because I try to practice "no-kill gardening" as well as "no-till gardening."  I see an infestation of bugs as a sign I'm not doing something to keep my plants healthy, so there's no point in killing them in order to save sick plants.  A few bugs are natural and I don't mind eating an aphid now and then.  I've probably eaten some small caterpillars.
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
H Ludi Tyler wrote:
I'm very tolerant of bugs on my vegs because I try to practice "no-kill gardening" as well as "no-till gardening."  I see an infestation of bugs as a sign I'm not doing something to keep my plants healthy, so there's no point in killing them in order to save sick plants.  A few bugs are natural and I don't mind eating an aphid now and then.  I've probably eaten some small caterpillars.
Not really the best idea to tolerate the larger bugs, as there's almost certainly potentially harmful specimens on that same crop/harvest.

I'd suggest using some baking soda solution on your leaves to keep most bugs off, keeping the leaves presentable and functioning optimally.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8975
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
132
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm not sure what you mean by "harmful specimens." 
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
    ¿Are there poison bugs? ¿Are they likely to appear in our gardens?
My mother had theories about how beautiful darning socks was and how we were losing such great experiences and i spent time doing such things because of a romantic idea that it was beautiful that she gave me but it made me bored and unhappy, such jobs keep women unecessarily busy a way of keeping them out of mischeif shackled. I would rather be up to mischief.
            One of these ideas of my mothers was that it was awfull that vegetables should be so clean and bugless now. That no one would eat a bug filled vegetable or fruit, that instead of washing then and cutting out the eaten bits we throw away all food that is not perfect and I dont so much mind cleaning vegetables and fruit, it does not seem to be such a long job as darning socks and it does seem bad that we throw away all food that is not perfect but absolutely, super perfect and that is the case, they had a short bit on it on a Spainish news channel not long ago the most incredibly good looking buty not absolutely perfect produce was thrown out into the grateful hands of charitable institutions, maybe our fussyness is good after all. As well as wasteful, some very tasty apples of yesteryear were not so very good looking as the ones sold in supermarkets, so not only is it shiftless to throw away so much, also we suffer from a more boring diet because of the uniform food we are so used to buying that anything smaller or a bit knobbley looks bad to us.
  Some gypsies turned up in the village last summer with some mellons and one woman did not want the one with a brown patch on the skin where the melon had sat on the ground. I knew that that type of scar is on the outside of the melon only, that the melon inside will be alright. I was taught to have a more complex appreciation of the health of fruit and vegetables, to judge the scars and know if they would or would not effect the taste, an appreciation  that is gettign lost it seemed, maybe she just liked making a fuss. agri rose macaskie.   
 
Thelma McGowan
Posts: 170
Location: western Washington, Snohomish county--zone 8b
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I totally accept that bugs live and walk and touch down on my food in the garden. I had baby slugs living in the outer layers of my cabbage....so I just trim off the sluggy parts and peel back the bug chewed leaves.Then I had a beautiful head of cabbage!

BUT..every year I get less and less concerned about bug damage. at a time i would not eat leaf lettcue that had bug holes in it. a few years ago I gave up and left the bug chewed in the salad, Just gave it a good rinse. Now I am wondering when I will give in more and just gobble up the whole thing along with any unfortunate bug on it!...I am kidding

in my family we have a long standing tradition of making fresh apple cider. the best apples that apear to not have worm holes go for storage since they will not be as apt to get rotten. for the cider we use the rest and they tend to have lots of worms in them. as long as the fruit does not have rot on it goes in the press. the cider is delicious but it has a good amount of worm juice. I asked my Dad one time if that was OK?? he said the worms were just all apple any way.......can't argue with that

I am glad to know I am not the only one at peace with this. I am happy to share some of my crop with all the little creatures, but I do take some measures to keep them off the goods.

so when is your food infested?? for me it is when I trim around the bugs and there is nothing left for me.
 
And now I present magical permaculture hypno cards. The idea is to give them to people that think all your permaculture babble is crazy talk. And be amazed as they apologize for the past derision, and beg you for your permaculture wisdom. If only there were some sort of consumer based event coming where you could have an excuse to slip them a deck ... richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic