By: Kathryn Engle

I realized we never did a blog about Marc Walden’s workshop in the spring, so here’s a reflection on that workshop and organic production this year.

On Monday April 21st, Marc Walden came to Lend-A-Hand and did an organic controls workshop for participants. He went over how to use the organic fertilizer and common organic pesticides and fungicides. He made a handy chart to give out to participants with information about Harmony fertilizer, Spinosad, and liquid copper spray. He also highlighted different kinds of pests and how to identify them. He stressed keeping a close watch on your plants in order to take care of any issues before they become big problems.

Organic Controls_Page_1Organic Controls_Page_2

I learned a lot. Participants have seemed pleased with the results of the organic pesticides. Irma, one of the cofounders of the Lend-A-Hand Center has also liked using the Spinsoad spray. We have had very little problems with our crooked neck squash and zucchini after treating the base with Spinosad.

There is one larger farmer in Knox County I know of that has produced organically this summer. Hopefully the success of this program, especially the effectiveness of Spinosad will encourage other farmers and gardeners to try more earth-friendly options. Many people at the farmers’ market seem impressed that such great food can be grown with simple organic methods.

Although our tomatoes got out of hand with the wet weeks in the middle of the summer, I think our gardeners were thankful for the helpful hints that we learned in the spring and implemented through the summer.