Thank You Birds and Bugs

I have one young peach tree in the meadow. Conventional wisdom is that you can’t grow edible fruit without using pesticides, organic or otherwise. I haven’t done a thing, yet so far, the leaves are unchewed and the fruit is green, fuzzy and whole. What I have done is provide nearby habitat that is perfect for insect-eating birds. In my small meadow, there are two pairs of bluebirds hatching eggs in birdhouses made especially for them. Those birds eat a lot of bugs! There’s also a Carolina Wren in a birdhouse, mounted to the back of the henhouse, that my son made when he was five. Everything is “wrong” with this box – from the color – black – to the size of the opening. Yet this bird calls it home.

weathervane and Carolina Wren

(This weathervane, by the way, is  on top of the HenCam barn. Made by this company in California.)

Early this spring, we had to deal with Asian Ladybugs in the house. Tens of thousands of them had over wintered in our window casings. Some were confused and came indoors instead of finding their way outside. Yuck! But, it was worth it. My birch tree in the front, which always has terrible infestations of absolutely disgusting sawfly larvae (that even the chickens refuse to eat) is so far free of them this year. The only bugs crawling all over the branches have been ladybugs.

It’ll be interesting to see how the veg garden fares. In the past, the cucumber beetles have been a scourge. As have the squash borers. I hope the birds like them.

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