Why Mr Beetle? I love my cucumbers just the way they are

Monday, July 25, 2011

Photo credit: Embracing Bevin

There’s something lurking in the Community Garden at uOttawa; a ferocious beast of the sort that haunts my nightmares (which could be due to my deep seeded fears of creepy crawlers but that’s beyond the point).

Meet Mr. Cucumber Beetle, adorned in green and black stripes with a monstrous appetite for cucumber (obviously), squash, zucchini, beans and pumpkins. Mr. Cucumber Beetle has taken it upon himself and his minions (larvae) to devour all of Brigitte’s zucchini. Brigitte has slaved over her garden all season in all weather (most notably the recent 47 degree-heat-stroke-inducing-deathly weather) in hopes that she would be awarded with delicious veggies. So, when the day came that she noticed her zucchini was being munched on she was distraught and closely inspected her plot, noticing Mr. Cucumber Beetle.

Being a lovely and environmentally conscious person, Brigitte attempted to remove the beetles using natural alternatives to pesticides including a homemade insecticidal soap and a combination of onions, garlic and spicy peppers boiled into a nasty smelling liquid (she swears it works wonders on pesky animals). When that didn’t work, well, let’s just say that we are glad we got new Katimavik participants (a.k.a Katimaslaves) that now get the pleasure of physically removing the beetles from the Community Garden plots.

As discouraging as Mr. Cucumber Beetle has been, the Community Garden is going very well this summer. The tomatoes are looking delicious, radishes and carrots have already had a crop and have been re-sown. Hopefully, some of the zucchini will survive with the aid of the Katimavik beetle fighting squad. If I had any artistic talent, this would be turned into some sort of graphic novel but I don’t so use your imaginations.


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