The growing season got off to a flying start this year. We had a mild winter and an early spring which sometimes felt more like summer. A couple of kilos of strawberries and mulberries too and enough flowers to make some elderflower cordial. My youngest is a River Cottage fan (so am I)so we made elderflower cordial as part of our home school activities. It was a little too sweet for my liking but no one else complained.
Things however took a turn for the worse in the garden. We have had a plague of grasshoppers.They have stripped most of the vegetable garden and are now at the stage of eating the bark off the 13 newly planted heritage apple trees.I'm not sure if they will survive. It is very disheartening. I think the mild winter may have upset the balance between some grasshoppers and too many.
Most information regarding the eradication of grasshoppers/locusts involves chemicals which could be fatal to our bees and propbably not too good for us either. Organic and permaculture methods of barrier plantings etc had no effect as they were in such large numbers so we had to resort to a spray. The spray is organic approved and developed by the CSIRO. It has the potential to harm bees but most research indicates that it is safe when used appropriately.I am hoping and praying that our vegetables,herbs,fruits and ornamentals will be back on track and the casualty list isn't too high.