Thursday is bug day at Peace Tree. It’s the day that our Biocontrol team crisscrosses our greenhouses to replenish and maintain our army of beneficial insects. They distribute sachets, release predators and parasites, and utilize our custom Bugzooka to launch and evenly spread predatory mites catching a ride on vermiculite onto newly planted or stuck plants.
Launching bugs far and wide in a production greenhouse could seem counterintuitive to some, but it’s all part of our comprehensive biocontrol program. Simply put, we populate good bugs to combat the bad bugs. Our team starts with a plan long before the sign of any pests, utilizing regular reoccurring releases (on bug day and beyond) to grow our numbers of friendly, beneficial insects.
We use multiple banker plant systems distributed throughout our greenhouses to boost populations and provide hosts for beneficial populations. Though these plants will never be sold, they more than earn their keep by creating a safe and reliable population reservoir for some of the beneficial insects that control pests like aphids, thrips, and whiteflies.
Accurate pest and beneficial identification is key for our success. It is also crucial to understand each species’ (friend or foe) lifecycle so that you can maximize the potency of beneficials and hone in on weaknesses of pests. We promote and cultivate a diversity of beneficials so that they may overlap functionality and create a robust competitive ecology that protects our crops from a broad pest complex.
Our diligent, proactive, and comprehensive approach towards biocontrols allows us to use minimal chemical inputs in maintaining healthy and vigorous pest-free crops. This system simply doesn’t work in a conventional model since many of the pesticides and other chemicals used in conventional systems kill the beneficial insects more effectively than they kill the pests. While Thursday is dedicated bug distribution day, really every day is bug day at Peace Tree Farm!
Our vegetables and herbs are CCOF Certified Organic, so they are guaranteed free of synthetic pesticides and chemicals. All of our crops are grown utilizing the same comprehensive Biocontrol program. It is with great pride that we produce plants that are safe and ready to be a contributing part of any ecosystem, whether it is in the home, garden, office, or wild. You can feel good about planting a Peace Tree Farm Garden Geek or BeeLoved plant in your garden because you’ll be providing safe food for pollinators and beneficials alike.