Going to take my first stab at farming this year, beginning with a .5 acre vegetable garden, which will eventually be expanded to 1.5-2 acres. I'd like to avoid pesticides at all costs, will be using insect netting and the like. Came here to ask about planting beneficial flowers/hedgerows to relieve insect pressure.
Some info about the area: the property is located in a 5a-5b zone (Innisfil, Ontario), 22 acres of arable land and 24ish of protected wetland. Soybean crop and glyphosate dominate the surrounding landscape (our property had been used to cultivate soybean for a decade or so before we purchased it), although we do have a 5-7 kilometer stretch of bush which terminates at our property. The soil is towards the clayish side, but nothing too severe.
I'd like to know what species to plant, how to plant them, the whole shebang...Would like to attract beneficial birds as well. Would the birds eat the beneficial insects though? lol
PS: In the first year I plan to have 3 beehives, 10 hens or so, and the .5 acre garden. In the future we plan to add a 3-4 acre pasture, acres of an assortment of berries, orchards, and eating grapes. Thought i'd add this information in case we could plan ahead in terms of pest control.