GardenDishes

dishin' the DIRT on hit and myth landscaping

Archive for the tag “organic produce”

FRUIT FLIES FLOWN: a great organic remedy for fruit fly problems

This week my sister was visiting from Denver. Besides apologizing for the heat and humidity of our Gulf Coast summer, I found myself begging forgiveness for a hazy cloud in my kitchen.

Has anyone else noticed the fruitfulness of fruit flies this year?*

They’re awful! I realize it could be worse — it could be RAINING — but I’m fed up with the little boogers. They’ve even moved into my bathroom, and I promise there is NO fruit for them there. I’ve tried sticky traps, putting my compost jar in the fridge, and everything else I could think of to rid my kitchen of the fruit flies. (I don’t do chemicals, and diatomaceous earth doesn’t help with flying insects.)

close trap

TIP: Be sure you leave an opening at the bottom of the funnel for the fruit flies to get out into the glass.

My nephew and his wife came over for dinner and the brilliant girl had the perfect fruit fly RX: an easy homemade trap. She doesn’t remember how she 1st heard about it, and honestly, who cares as long as it works. And IT DOES! In 2 days the cloud parted and I haven’t seen a fruit fly since.

The proof's NOT in the pudding and neither are those pesky fruit flies!

The proof’s NOT in the pudding and neither are those pesky fruit flies!

  • a glass or jar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • rotting fruit
  • funnel that fits snuggly into glass/jar
  1. Put the rotting fruit into the bottom of the glass/jar.
  2. Add a tablespoon or so of vinegar.
  3. Top with the funnel.
  4. Periodically take it outside to free your captives.

*NOTE: Fruit flies can also be an issue on indoor container plants.

Produce Chart with Pesticide Levels

Several folks asked for a LABELED produce chart showing pesticide levels, so here it is! RED means it is likely to have a higher level and GREEN means a lower level usually.

If you cannot buy all organic produce, here's a lesser of evils approach chart.

If you cannot buy all organic produce, here’s a lesser of evils approach chart.

Always Best to Buy (or GROW) Organic Produce?

Lately, I’m getting more requests from my landscaping clients who’ve never considered themselves gardeners to grow their own food.

And they want to do it organically.

Horror stories of tainted greens drive many to question what else they might be buying in that bag of lettuce or spinach. Restaurants, bars, and even airlines blame skyrocketing prices for dropping lime and avocado from their menus. It might tempt some folks to just grow their own food. While citrus and other heat loving plants thrive in my part of the world, what about you who don’t have the weather – or space – to grow your own? Should you move? Well, maybe.

At my house, produce may be found throughout the landscape. If I cannot grow enough, the rest is bought from local farmers whenever possible. I believe in permaculture, which is simply good stewardship of the land. But, as I said before, my options for growing food are vast because of where I live.  And I enjoy gardening.

Should you buy or try? Check this chart to see what produce you should ALWAYS buy organic.

Check this chart to see what produce you should ALWAYS buy organic. Green means little pesticides, red shows what has the most pesticides in traditionally grown produce.

If you’re confused about buying organic produce, check out this chart I made for a lecture I gave. It shows which traditionally grown produce items have the highest pesticide levels. Scary? That’s not the purpose of my talk or why I’m sharing this information. I simply want to give you guidelines on which items deserve the extra bucks to buy organic, or extra time and space to grow in your yard, if your climate allows. Although this won’t necessarily make you a better organic gardener, it could make you a better shopper when it comes to organic produce.

NOTE: if you want an easy-to-reproduce copy of this chart, just let me know. I’m happy to send you a larger JPEG or PDF of it.

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