William James wrote:
1. Do something
2. Fail #1
3. Figure out a better way (books/forums/people)
4. Implement improved design
5. Fail #2
6. Figure out a better way (again!)
7. Implement even better design
9. Move on to the next failure loop.
10. Have some cake.
Japanese beetles were our scourge.
It sounds like you want to recreate your childhood California garden in today's new spot. This won't work. Ever. Anywhere.
but really, how are others in your area doing Permaculture successfully?
Try this book, many of the named varieties would go great guns where you are: http://www.amazon.com/Perennial-Vegetables-Articho...&ie=UTF8&qid=1327772671&sr=1-1
James Colbert wrote:Just based on my limited knowledge I would say you need to plant flowers, bulbs, and plants which attract and support beneficial insects. Maybe next time inter-plant the squash and other veggies with flowers and dedicate an area to just wild flowers for insects to be happy. Also is this the first year that you have had this problem? If so the next year can possibly be a lot better because beneficial insects have had a chance to multiply. They know where the food is now so they will stay and help you out. May want to consider using your infested areas to feed your ducks and chickens. Just some thoughts.... don't lose hope.
Tyler Ludens wrote:You might need more diversity of wild animals in your yard to help keep down the bug population. I suggest putting up several bird feeders. Some piles of rocks or logs to attract snakes, lizards, toads and frogs to the garden. Also include a few very shallow dishes of water for the amphibians.......I gardened in California previously. There, gardening was "Just add water."
Linda Davis wrote:If you were planing on staying at your current location, tree crops (mulberry, persimmon, acorn, chestnuts etc. . .) would seem the thing for your fowl and pigs. But like you have indicated, for the next couple years that you remain in your current location you may want to look at crops that aren’t as prone to pests. Maybe find out what is working for others in your neighborhood?
mud bailey wrote:I'm in Southeast VA - Floyd to be exact. We are just getting our toes wet with permaculture, but just up the road from us about an hour and a half is Joel Salatin of Polyface farms and he is permaculture-tastic-ish. You should definitely check that place out. Plus, I'm sure there are other people in this county that are into permaculture, they are all just underground about it. But I don't see why it wouldn't be possible. Just a lot of trial and error. That 10 stage feedback loop. We've been practicing that for a couple of years now, except we call it OODAloop. Observe. Orient. Decide. Act. and then do it all over again.
Bob Dobbs wrote:Don't have much time for a reply, as I'm wrangling a baby currently, but I do have area and pest specific information. Sweet corn generally gets corn earworms where I live (abt 1 hour north of atlanta, zone 8a), but the old-timers relish what they refer to as "field corn" for roasting ears and fried corn. The variety is "Hickory King". The top of the shucks are very tight, and in the years I've grown it chemical free, I've never seen a single earworm. There must be other varieties of dent that resist the earworms. In addition, as far as summer squash goes, the old-fashioned "Yellow Crookneck" has some resistance to squash bugs, not that they don't occur, but they disfavor it. Perhaps plant a weak hybrid zucchini on each end of the row as a catch-crop, till the population of predators build up. Or, do as I do, and walk around and squish the bugs and scrape the eggs off with a knife. It helps if you have kids to pitch in as well.