Those are our raspberries, the ones I was all excited about because they are producing an amazing fall bumper crop. They're in a bag, on their way to being destroyed. They're pretty, aren't they? And there are hundreds of unripe and promising little fruits all over them. But, they are infested with Spotted White Drosophila, a new(ish) (to the US, anyway) fruit fly pest that came over from Southeast Asia. Basically, almost all of the ripe or nearly ripe berries I pick have little larvae (um....maggots) wriggling around inside.
I looked it up and it seems North Carolina is among the handful of a half dozen or so states most affected thus far. Seems the management of the pesky little critters entails pulling and destroying all fruit, pulling out any host plants (pokeweed being a main one), and just being vigilant in general about plant hygiene (huh?) and such. There are of course pesticide possibilities, but we won't go there. Though I will likely look into OMRI listed options. I also specifically sought out an answer to the question "can I eat berries with SWD larvae?", (perhaps this makes you think I am too gross to associate with, and I understand... but remember, I'm the kind that would rather pee behind a bush in a parking lot than go back inside Target after buckling my infant into her carseat, so there's that...) and the answer, according to a University of Vermont Extension newsletter, was that yes, yes I can eat them.
Don't know if I'm up for that, but I have been eating ones that appear larvae-less upon inspection. I've pulled the fruit and the pokeweed, and any damaged and already off the plant fruits, and shoved them in the bag, then closed it and stuck it in the sun to fry the little buggers. And I guess I'll continue to pull more fruits off the vines as the season progresses. Take that White Spotted Drosophila! I've gotta at least fight the good fight, right? Still, it's hard picking all of these beautiful (and huge!) berries and putting them into a garbage bag. It's just not right.
At least the zinnias are still putting on a good show, and the fall plantings are coming along nicely.
In other news, I am kind of missing being on Facebook. I got off of there after realizing I wasn't, um, managing my time wisely...... and it's been good, mostly. But I'll admit I'm missing parts of it, especially the ease of asking questions of a large audience, soliciting advice/opinions, and the like. Thinking I may try it again and watch my time closely....
More importantly, Mike is laying tile in the soon-to-be master bathroom! Woohooooo!
As for myself, aside from the berry debacle, I've not done much today. But I did keep the sink mostly empty, sign Claire up for October ballet (even though I have to pay for the whole month of Saturdays even though we'll be gone for two of them... but she LOVES it, so...), did some art class planning, and watched the chickens a bit.
Now, off to art class with my little one tagging along, as she so often does.