Hello Farm Family!
Hope you've been enjoying your boxes. I'm happy to report that tomatoes are still going strong and our fall fields are shaping up nicely as well! Last week while we were picking tomatoes we found a tomato horn worm, which on it's own isn't that surprising. These are actually a pretty common pest with tomatoes. The worm, which is actually a caterpillar, lays it's eggs on the underside of tomato leaves. Once hatched they can be voracious eaters of tomato leaves and fruits, especially as they grow and have larger and larger appetites. Here's what was special about this particular hornworm: it was covered in little white bumps. These bumps turned out to be parasitic wasp larvae, which are a natural prey of the garden pests. These terrifying wasps inject the hornworms with their larvae which grow from the hosts body, consuming it's insides to sustain their own growth. Pretty gruesome stuff, but just another example of how healthy ecology on the farm can actually allow nature to present it's own solutions and controls for many common farm pests. I hope that was more interesting that unsettling! Isn't nature amazing? Ok that's all for now. Have a great week!