The news hit like a sucker punch. Late blight has arrived in Massachusetts. My tomatoes are beautiful and the thought of losing the whole crop again is horrible. We attended our sustainable living group’s fair on Saturday and fortunately, there were a couple of plant experts there. They are recommending that we spray. There is a copper treatment that can be very effective if the rest of the field management is good. There was also a lot of talk about a spray made with oil soap, peroxide, baking soda and water and that’s what I’m going to try. Good field management  involves a daily inspection of your susceptible plants, removal of bottom leaves, deep mulch and keeping people out of your fields. The recipe for the spray is as follows:

6 t baking soda

6 t peroxide

3 t Murphy’s Oil Soap

1 gallon water

Spray on dry leaves in the very early morning and after rain.

They are recommending 4 inches of mulch but the problem with mulch is that the cutworms live in it. We have had a problem with cutworms this year. Bruce has been going down at night with a flashlight and disposing of them. Whenever people say that they will “just” grow a garden if things get bad I have to laugh. There is no “just” about growing food.

I have new respect for the phrase “slaving over a hot stove”. I made zucchini relish yesterday. I was soaking wet by the time I had finished a triple batch but I have 15 beautiful pints on my counter. They are so pretty, I hate to put them in the basement.

The Sustainability Fair was so much fun. We had the usual wonderful food, terrific company and amazing music. I love to contra dance but I seem to tire a tad more quickly than I used to. I know that what do might seem a bit corny to some people but the day didn’t cost any money and most people could walk or ride bikes to get there. Corny or not, it was my kind of fun.

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