Thursday, August 9, 2012

Good Bugs - Bad Bugs

This big yellow caterpillar loved our Fennel flowers.
Every gardener knows that there are many ups and downs in the growing cycle.  You are constantly working against water supply, either too much or too little, weather conditions, which can't be controlled, plant disease and bugs.
A group of lady bugs landed on one of our basil plants.

When working with kids on the farm, there is always a cool bug, butterfly or pesky worm doing their business in the garden. They are an important part of a garden ecosystem. They are there because they belong. Whether they are good bugs or bad bugs, they are all part of the program. Whether they help or hurt our crops, we can learn from them all.

Bug Eggs.., are they friends or foe?

Many times when we set out to the farm to do a specific activity, we are sidetracked by bug activity. Since school gardening is such a hands on activity, the kids are always poking around and looking for change, fresh produce and of course, bugs!

We had to look closely for this Preying Mantis friend.

Bugs in our garden give us automatic extensions of lessons. Often times, kids or teachers will snap a quick picture and then go back to the classroom or home to research what a certain bug is and what it helps with or damages in the garden.  Whether they are harmful or beneficial, they are there for a reason and should be either welcomed or discouraged from gobbling up all of your harvest.

Celebrate your garden friends!

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