Cuttings in greenhouseKathleen and LynnWith the pansies all planted we move on to other cold crops in our production. The new house is tidy and the plants are happy in their new home. Kathleen and Lynn are seen filling pots on the maiden voyage. Last week I attended a great conference presented by Maine state extension offices.

Jeff Marstaller

Jeff Marstaller, Cozy Acres

The education day was held at Cozy Acres Greenhouses in Falmouth Maine. Hosted by Jeff Marstaller, it was great to see his wholesale operation and all of his inventive systems. Jeff is experimenting with geothermal heat in his main structure and gave me lots of ideas for our new location.

Ron Valentin, a technical advisor for Biobest, is a specialist in sustainable crop management using biological controls for crops.

Ron Valentin

Ron Valentin, Biobest

We learned a wide array of methods to combat pests and diseases using sustainable practices. The system  is based on creating a balanced environment in the greenhouse, it’s own little ecosystem. By adding naturally occurring predators and parasites to combat pest invaders a balanced system is established. Sounds easy doesn’t it! It is a better way to manage crops and grow excellent plants. Because world-wide horticulture has become a reality we are seeing more resistant pests and the advantage of using biocontrol is that it eliminates the use of toxic chemicals that build resistance. Now you as a customer will have to be a little more forgiving about “perfection.” A plant with an aphid is no good, but a plant with an aphid that is hosting a parasitic wasp, now we’re talking!