csaidi1 asked: Do you know where I can buy fresh Amaranth leaves in Orange County?
I haven’t seen amaranth greens for sale in Orange County. It’s extremely easy to grow, particularly in summer. I have even seen it volunteer in a gravel parking lot. Baker Creek heirloom seeds carries many nice varieties as does Kitazawa Seeds.
faithjennings asked: Hi - I founded a local co-op of growers in Orange County and we've been trying to find solutions to the bagrada bug. Do you have any recommendations? Thank you. Faith TheCoolCucumberCommunityCooperative
I’d be interested to hear more about your collective.
I had a lot of trouble with Bagradas during their first big season here but they haven’t been too much trouble lately. The weather this summer seems to have favoured their populations so this winter might be a tough one for Brassicas. I have only been able to control them by covering with floating row cover - It is available through Peaceful Valley Farm Supply or you can pick it up locally from McConkey Nursery Supply.
I have tried to spray with a homemade habanero and garlic mixture which seemed to help with the younger instars of the bugs - the adults were still kicking. I even tried organic pyrethrins but really don’t like to use such broad spectrum compounds. They didn’t seem to work all that well either. I ended up simply squashing them by hand. I was out every day around noon squishing all of the bugs that I saw. Perches for birds might help as well. The Black Phoebes here really seem to enjoy eating them. It can’t hurt.
The bugs do seem to favour different crops and varieties so I would try to plant a diversity of any one crop and cover them tightly. You really need to protect the growing points since this is where the insect prefers to feed and where the most damage is done.
Good luck. I hope you get yourself a few decent heads of cabbage.