The 2015 Threshing Show was a huge success

People in the Almelund area call the Threshing Show the Almelund State Fair. Although the weather affected the Sunday attendance, Saturday drew the largest crowd ever.
As in the past, my article the week before the Threshing Show predicts questions that will be asked and the type of problems that need solving. One of those issues was the Spotted Winged Drosophila, a pest that is attacking fruits grown in our area. This insect lays its eggs in soft skinned fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. In about 3-5 days the eggs hatch into small maggots that ruin the fruit.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that many of you have been reading the information we have provided in our articles to the local papers. I wrote back to back articles on the SWD and used them as a source at the Threshing Show. One article explained what the SWD is and the other article explained what I’m doing in my own garden to deal with the issue which includes not spraying with pesticides. We always record the type of question asked of us at the Threshing Show as well as what informational briefs we pass out. This year 115 gardeners were given information on the SWD. At just at the right time too since the fall fruit season is just beginning and now those people are better informed about the problem.
My own experience with the SWD is worth sharing as I am invested in helping others who have or will have the same problem.
If you have fall raspberries or blackberries, you most likely have the SWD fly. To be sure, pick samples of the ripe fruit, put them in a used plastic container, label it with the date, then leave it covered for 3-4 days. When you open the container and if you see maggots climbing up the sides, you have SWDs. If you see no such evidence, count yourself blessed, at least for now, because they can have up to ten hatchings a season.
Keep your berry patch picked clean as the SWD lays its eggs in ripe fruit. This is hard for me and may be for you too if you have larges patches like I do.
Whether you use the berries yourself or sell them, eat them, make jam or jelly or any other purpose, use them right away. If you can’t, freeze them by putting them on a cookie sheet and putting it in the freezer until frozen and store them until they can be used.
I will have more of a problem than most others because I have chosen not to spray my fruit crops to kill the insect. These sprays can kill bees and I feel the bees are more important that the berries. If you are buying unaffected berries, chances are those crops have been sprayed. There are plenty of websites with lots of current information on the SWD so please research them for more information.
On Aug. 6 the US Department of Agriculture put out a press release that Emerald Ash Borer has been found in southeastern Chisago County near Manning Trail near the Chisago/Washington county border. To read the press release, go to:
http://www.mda.state.mn.us/en/news/releases/2015/nr20150806eabchisago.aspx
Don’t know about you, but I wish we could go back to the days when our biggest problems in the yard and garden were Creeping Charlie and Tomato Blight.

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