National Pollinator Week
Last week was filled with both joy and sorrow as we celebrated pollinators and their enormous value for our ecosystems. We are happy to report that three new co-sponsors just signed on with their support for the Saving America's Pollinators Act (SAPA): Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Congressman Sam Farr, and Congressman Adam Schiff. This brings our total number to 68 co-sponsors and brings us closer to ensuring safety for our pollinators. SAPA would ban neonicotinoid pesticides while more research is conducted to show the effect these pesticides have on pollinator populations.
Unfortunatey, that effect was clearly displayed last week as bee die-offs occured in Eugene and Portland after neonicotinoid pesticides were sprayed on flowering linden trees. Read more about the Eugene incident here
Congressman Earl Blumenauer gave a floor speech about pollinator protection last week and we hope that more people will soon take his message to heart. Watch his speech here
If you haven't already contacted your representative about co-sponsoring SAPA, click here to learn what to say and let us know how it goes!
Blueberry Farm Tour
Mummy berry disease is a challenge for organic blueberry farmers in the Pacific Northwest. One grower at NCAP’s June farm tour had taken the drastic measure of pruning back all his canes and forgoing a year’s worth of production and income to break the disease cycle.
Ken Berg of Berg’s Certified Organic Blueberries in Alvadore, OR hosted the afternoon tour for 20 growers. After extensive crop loss a few years ago, Ken employed an intensive mulching practice to cover the mummied berries. At the tour, Ken showed the black visqueen he places under the bushes and holds in place with sawdust mulch. This and other sanitation practices have greatly reduced his loss to mummy berry.
Oregon State University researchers Jay Pscheidt and Jade Florence shared their work with NCAP and collaborating blueberry growers to develop mulching for Oregon’s growing conditions. Their work has shown that the timing and depth of sawdust mulch application is critical, since the fungal fruiting body has been able to grow ten centimeters under certain conditions.
For more information on managing mummy berry, see Jade Florence’s blog
Save the Date!
Join us on Saturday October 4th at the Vet's Club Ballroom for a fun-filled evening of food, drink, games, a silent auction and more! Trust us, you won't want to miss it.
Music by Texas Toasters
Produce provided by Organically Grown Company
Dessert provided by Coconut Bliss and Vanilla Jill's
Photobooth by Wendy Gregory Studio
Beer from Oakshire Brewing
Wine from Frey Vineyards
Special one of a kind screen prints by Threadbare
Inspiring Rachel Carson Award Celebration
and so much more...
Tickets go on sale in September. Want to Help?
If you have a donation you would like to make for our auction or you are interested in volunteering, contact Shelly at email@example.com or 541-344-5044 ext. 17. Volunteering and donations valued at $100 or more will get your free tickets!
Let's Learn About Paper Wasps:
A beneficial predator!
Paper wasps are long-legged, narrow-waisted wasps that are common throughout the United States. These wasps are both predators and pollinators, and are considered a beneficial insect. However, their yellow and black markings (or orange and black, for some species) make them easy to confuse with various yellowjacket wasps, and are not well tolerated as a result.
Paper wasps are common around structures from March through August, especially the introduced European paper wasp (Polistes dominula). They commonly attach their nest to wood or metal lips or ledges, such as overhead beams, playground equipment, uncapped pipes or pipes with holes, window frames, and inside metal utility boxes. Paper wasp nests are distinctive: the papery, gray nests are one layer of exposed comb, often pointing outward or downward from the surface they’re attached to. Like yellowjackets, paper wasps will defend their nest by stinging (and may do so repeatedly). Unlike yellowjackets, it takes provocation to get a paper wasp to sting.
If you think you have an active paper wasp nest that needs to be removed, you may do so without the use of pesticides. First, confirm that it is a paper wasp. Then, use a long-handled tool (such as a rake or hoe) very early in the morning when temperatures are coolest to knock the nest down. The paper wasps will take flight in their confusion, but do not typically sting as long as the person remains several feet away. The queen may attempt to re-nest through early August, so periodically check the area for new nests, which begin at about the size of a dime.
To learn more about paper wasps, including their identification and differences from other common wasps, visit NCAP’s Home and Garden toolbox for wasps and bees: http://www.pesticide.org/Alternatives/home-and-garden-toolbox/pest-solutions/bees-and-wasps