June in Wisconsin is when the garden really starts to kick into high gear. We've had all the rain we need and then some, and the crops and the weeds are both doing great. I know we talk a lot about the weather, but when you garden, the weather is a big deal. We've had some real extremes so far. No frost in June although we came pretty close, but some temperatures in the 90's and several really scary thunderstorms. Nothing like what Geoff is experiencing down in Austin, where it's already been 106. If Wisconsin saw the triple digit temperatures that Texas gets regularly, I'd have to think about moving to Manitoba.
Speaking of Canada, CobraHead received a very nice mention in Canada's main news site, the Toronto Globe and Mail. This brief mention got us a lot of Canadian inquiries and orders. We are happy to be selling in Canada, where there are a lot more gardeners per capita than down here in the States. Today Canada, tomorrow the world!
Speaking of mentions, our friends Chris and Steve McDiarmid, who own a great wine shop, Watertower Wines, in Coloma, Wisconsin, gave us a plug in their newsletter. How can you top "If I ever lose my hand, replace it with a CobraHead?" You folks are the best!
I've been experimenting with a neem oil based organic insecticide that Geoff found at last February's MOSES conference. We've been hearing a lot about neem lately. Neem is a tree that grows in India and its oils and other parts have been used there for 4,000 years. Many people in India consider it a sacred tree. It's also a very sustainable crop tree grown specifically to be harvested. Neem oil used correctly is a very benign and selective insecticide. It disrupts plant eating insect's digestive systems and kills many insects that eat the treated plants. It causes no harm to beneficial insects including pollinators and those insects that might feed on or parasitize the bugs that eat the sprayed plants.
I'm only beginning my tests, but it looks like I've nearly eradicated the asparagus beetles that feed on the fronds and lay eggs that turn into nasty little asparagus munching caterpillars. I'm testing it on my pears and I'll soon see if it is effective on potato beetles. Now if it works on Japanese beetles, we'll have something to talk about.
CobraHead has a busy summer and fall schedule of garden shows and sustainable living events. They include EcoFair360 in Elkhorn, Wisconsin on July 8, 9, and 10 and the Kickapoo Country Fair in LaFarge, Wisconsin on July 30th. If you are attending those shows, stop buy and say hello, Check them out as they are both excellent and fun events.
Thanks for reading our newsletter. We like to talk gardening and food. Send us a line or comment. And whatever your garden plans are for this year, we wish you much success.
Noel and the CobraHead team.