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June 27, 2005

Feuer Frei!!! Open Fire!!!

Japanese Beetles == very serious threat! This is War!

We found out last year what the beetles can do - basically turn a vine into green lace. I mean gone! So no way I'm letting that happen again - a few research vines was one thing but now that we're doing this for real measure must be taken to ensure that the vines are protected.

So we got 2 gallons of Sevin from Jim McKenzie our chemical supplier. I mixed up roughly 1 quart per 25-gallons of water, and that covered 8 rows (2/3 of an acre) which puts it at 1.5 quarts per acre (based on manufacturers recommendations of 1-2 quarts per acre). The part that sucked was trying to spray down the tubes - oh yeah the beetles LOVE it down in there - read about it here.

Basically the process is go real slow (2nd gear low) and lean way over to the right and put the sprayer wand down the tube and pull the trigger while extracting the wand. This gives a pretty nice coating inside the tube. Then spray the exposed leaves. No problem, except for the tractor is moving which makes this kind of an exercise in concentration. One blink and you bump into bamboo stakes (OK make that about 10 blinks - hehe...) or you knock over a line post (thank goodness that one didn't have the trellis wire on it yet...) Anyway I got it all done and it's a good thing too because yesterday Rebecca and I saw about 8 beetles - today I saw well over 50. And now they have some nice white residue to snack on. And then they can all die.

Posted by Stephen at June 27, 2005 9:25 PM


Hey Steve. Hope that all is well and you are enjoying the country...not sure how you could give up all this Greenfield fun but I'm sure you are managing. It's the end of the quarter and as usual we're all going to die if we don't hit X number...somethings never change but it certainly is wearing me out.

Question, is Sevin used on all vines, if it's poison to beetles isn't it poison to people? I'm sure the answer is that all non-organic fruits and veggies get the same treatment but just scary to think about hosing things down with DDT that are soon to be your kid's snack for lunch.

Give my best to the devil (Charles) and I hope fatherhood is all you ever dreamed it would certainly is for this guy.


Posted by: Marc McD at June 28, 2005 1:23 PM

Hi Marc - great to hear from you! Thanks for checking in on us. You raise a very valid point regarding pesticide application and the potential effects on humans. Due to those concerns, such chemicals are not applied within specified time periods of harvest (different time depending on the chemical) to ensure the chemical has enough time to dissolve/break down/wash away prior to the fruit being picked. So rest assured, you'll never taste bug spray in our wines. :-)

BTW I left comScore - read about the new gig here.


Posted by: Stephen at June 30, 2005 2:22 PM