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Paul sits down with his usual smackdown suspects (Kyle, Opalyn, Katie, and presumably Mark) to review twenty of the remaining 40 pages in Sepp Holzer’s Desert or Paradise, as well as a couple of bits on Willie Smits’ latest work and Paul’s response a meme..?

What to do with insect overpopulation:
“Insect overpopulation is a visible sign of incorrect cultivation and it usually indicates the use of agricultural chemicals.  The natural balance has been disturbed when may beetles eat whole fields of grain, when Colorado potato beetles destroy the whole crop, when bugs eat all the blossom on a fruit tree and weaken it.  The insect is not the pest, but the human being imposing his will onto nature.  Using pesticides at the first sign of pests is not a good idea – it is a short term solution and it only treats the symptom, not the cause.  The plants would have tolerated a small number of pests and natural predators would have appeared to eat these, but ladybirds and earwigs are at the end of the food chain however and all the toxins accumulate in their bodies when they eat the pests, and they die.  Pests, on the other hand, develop resistance to pesticides and begin to thrive!  With all of their predators gone, the crops and monocultures are eventually doomed.  There’s only one way to protect crops from pests: do not plant monocultures.  Encourage natural predators by providing habitats for them, watch and learn from nature.”  Perfect.  Just perfect – Paul Wheaton

“The ladybird is one of the best known beneficial insects – its larvae eat about 400 aphid per day, and fully grown it still eats about 200 per day.  Numbers for the earwigs are similar.  You can increase their numbers by filling an old flour pot with straw or wood shavings, wrapping it in chicken wire, and hanging it upside down in the affected tree.  Alternatively, place a piece of tree bark next to a tree.  Ladybirds and earwigs will live and thrive there while being protected from birds.  The numbers will increase in proportion to the number of the existing pests.  Ladybirds and earwigs will reduce the population of aphids and other insects to a healthy number without completely eradicating them as otherwise they will run out of food.  I can easily tolerate the remaining numbers as a farmer or gardener.”  Everyone seems surprised that earwigs actually eat other bugs and aren’t just spawned by disused woodwork.  Also they’re called ear-wigs because they’re sometimes found in ears of corn, not children’s ears, much to my relief.

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Bras cause cancer. And tiny ads:
Planning the 2023 Permaculture Technology Jamboree - poor man's poll
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