Written by Ellen Petrie

This week we had an unfortunate discovery. We found cucumber beetles on our Market garden squash plants. This is a type of beetle who likes to eat every part of squash, pumpkin, zucchini, and cucumber plants. The bugs had been eating the flowers of our squash which resulted in them dropping of the plant before they could mature into rip squash. Our longtime volunteer and Core-team member Barb was troubled by the arrival of the new pest. She soon discovered the eggs of the beetle on the back-side of her pumpkin leaves in her own plot. The eggs are small and copper colored and generally can be found in the ‘V’ shape of the leaf’s veins. Since our discovery we have been regrettably trying to kill the beetles and the eggs by hand. At Bell & Robie we were really lucky not to have a cucumber beetle problem. To combat the cucumber beetles in the future we will cover all of our squash and cucumbers when they are planted until flowering.

Although this past week was relatively quiet due to the grey weather and the Options work program being summer vacation, we still had one group visit the farm. A new batch of kids have been enrolled in the YMCA Centre for Immigrant programs camps. These kids came to the farm for the first time and helped us fill a bed with soil and plant some peas. When I was showing the plants the campers could nibble on in the Commons beds we passed by one of our site signs that is written in Arabic. Two of the older kids became extremely excited and began reading the sign out loud. When I explained that we had signage all over the farm in multiple different languages they exclaimed that this sign was in their language!