I have two exciting bits of information that I need to share.  First I want to give a summary of my “banker plant” experiment and second I want to talk about the summer Regional Meeting.
This spring I wanted to try a slightly different approach to my aphid control in my greenhouses.  Instead of biweekly releases of predatory wasps I grew aphids and raised my own wasps.  I was very excited about this experiment as it was going to save me money.  After raising a great crop of cereal aphids (which was quite easy) that I purchased from IPM Labs,  I released the parasitic wasps (Aphidius) and increased their populations.  In future years I will start earlier in the season as it takes about two weeks for populations to increase and the wasps to hatch.  
Everything seemed to be doing fine until I noticed a huge aphid infestation on some herbs.  So, very trustingly I introduced my homegrown wasps to the area.  After two weeks of monitoring I did get total control of the aphid population and was also increasing my population of wasps.   In brief I have to say that this technique was very successful, as I had no aphid problems in my greenhouses to this date.  You might ask –  how do you know that the wasps did the control?    All through the greenhouse I can find parasitized aphid mummies, which is all the convincing I need.
On August 6 I will be co-hosting the Northeast Regional Meeting.  I have to say that I am very excited to get a group of us together to “talk and tour”.  I know how hard it is to get away during our short season but believe me it can be very relaxing, which is good, and it can be fun.  It can be very educational, this is very good as well.  We can all work hard but it also important to work smart.
We will start the day with a tour of my farm here in Bowdoinham, Maine.   I also want to have a show and tell of mixed bouquets.  If everyone would bring a typical mixed bouquet to showcase I think we could all learn a lot.  On my farm you will see a little bit of everything.  Hoophouse growing, field growing of annuals, perennials and bulb crops.  We sell mostly at  four farmers’ markets a week.

We will then travel to Johnny’s Selected Seeds to get a tour of the trial gardens from Kelly Comer.   We will eat lunch and have an opportunity for more discussion if warranted.  The final farm will be Sheepscot Flower Farm hosted by members Jim and Linda Mercer.  We will then return to my farm for a dinner and wrapup.  People are encouraged to bring something to share if you can.  Anyone is welcome to stay as long as you wish. I look forward to seeing you.
Have a great season.