Friday, March 25, 2022

Working with a Farmer

After discovering the Striped Carosello Leccese I was very interested in having a farmer grow out this variety for me. I wanted to ensure that I could produce enough seed to distribute this variety to more people. So, I called in the counties around where I lived and spread the news that I wanted to pay a farmer for some seed.

Eventually one farmer reached out. He was already growing melons, so it wouldn’t work very well to grow to seed in 2020. However, we did try a row of the Striped Leccese, some of which did sell. In the middle of the pandemic and a fire that nearly burned our home as well as his farm, we grew out these cucumbers.

I went through and made one harvest, but with the fires and the pandemic it was difficult to find individuals who would even try them out. So I paid the farmer for the fruit that I harvested and shared as much as I could with others.

Here are a few videos I made while harvesting: And here are some more pictures of the harvest and the fruit.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Work Garden Mantids

One day, while working with the sweet potatoes at my work garden, I came across several mantids. While there were more than two, the main two that I observed were an adult male and female. They were most likely California mantids.

Here is a video I took of the mantids in the garden on this day:

Friday, March 11, 2022

Of various Good Bugs at the Work Garden

Part of the reason why I enjoy gardening so much is that I get to see so many beneficial insects. One that is rarely identified correctly is the Syrphid fly larvae. These look very similar to other caterpillars, but tend to be much more triangular in shape and look much more like a maggot then a caterpillar. Additionally, they tend to congregate around aphids. All of these factors help to indicate that this caterpillar is indeed beneficial for the gardener. Syrphid flies are also called “hover flies” because they hover around the garden. While they may occasionally look like a fly, the majority of the time they have markings very similar to a bee or wasp.





 One really neat beneficial insect is the aphidius colemani. While the gardener may not always notice the actual wasp, the effects of the wasp are quite visible when looking at a group of aphids. The infected aphids turn into round brownish gold host “mummies” for a wasp that is growing inside of the aphid and will hatch out as a new wasp.

Another insect that is occasionally seen helping in the garden is the assassin bug. Here is a picture I took (a little out of focus) of a cluster of assassin bug eggs.

Finally there is a odd-ball beneficial. This is the snakefly. It feeds off of aphids, caterpillars, various insect eggs and wood-boring insects.


Friday, March 4, 2022


Here are a few pictures I took of ladybugs or Ladybird beetles.
First, I will start with a ladybug larvae that is beginning to pupate. This means the ladybug is making a type of cocoon/chrysalis. Once the ladybug is done, it will hatch into an adult ladybird beetle.

Next are some pictures from my work, including some ladybug eggs as well as some adults.