Farmer’s Market scheduled for Friday, July 5

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The beginning of summer in east Texas never sneaks up on us and this year certainly has made that statement true.  Before the first official day of summer we saw record heat and the wave of grasshoppers descend on the Northeast Texas Community College garden.

There are several things you can try to prevent total annihilation of your vegetable plants. The first is Garlic Spray. The smell of the stuff will repel grasshoppers and send them packing. There is also Nosema Locustae. It is a natural microbe that can be used as a bait for grasshoppers. Once digested, the grasshoppers become lethargic and will eventually die from ingesting the nosema locustae.  Another grasshopper remedy is Neem Oil. When ingested, neem oil confuses the grasshoppers’ system and prevents hormones from performing properly, which causes the insects to forget to mate, lay eggs and even eat.  Finally, there is Ammonia. Ammonia diluted with a little water sprayed on your plants will deter grasshoppers from your yard. Additionally, the ammonia contains nitrate, which is beneficial to soil and plants. It will keep bugs at bay without harming your plants.  There is also liquid sevin that can be applied to your garden areas, however, the reduced strength available does not get a complete control.

After trying some of these methods and not getting the control we needed in the vegetable garden, I “unleashed” our attack chickens!  The next night when I came back to close up the mobile chicken coop, most of the remaining grasshoppers were clinging onto t-posts and whatever object they could to escape my little grasshopper assassins! While not normally a violent lady, I have to admit I drew extreme pleasure in the demise of those little creatures and did my best evil scientist laugh!

If you would be interested in purchasing grasshopper assassins for your yard or garden they will be for sale at the NTCC Farmer’s Market on Friday, July 5 beginning at 9 am.  These are various pullets almost 20 weeks old and should start laying soon.  Over a dozen vendors selling everything from produce and plants to jewelry and hand-crocheted items will be back again both inside the Elizabeth Whatley Ag Complex and beneath the pavilion.  Come and enjoy an old fashioned snow cone and purchase an NTCC Taco Dinner and drink for just $5.

Remember those with gardens, orchards, homemade woodcrafts, cookies and pastries, plants and small livestock, or just about anything raised or made locally – don’t miss the opportunity to join us.  There are booth spaces inside and out, and even the outside spaces are covered.  All items need to be handmade or home raised.  Paid sponsorships are available for those who sell equipment and tools to be utilized in farm situations.  At this time all booth spaces for farmers are at no charge.  Additionally, we are seeking local talented musicians to help provide the perfect family atmosphere for our market.

If you are not growing your own groceries but would just like to eat like you do, come out and buy local and eat fresh.  Perhaps you may even purchase some vegetable plants and begin to GROW LOCAL yourself!  For more information on area farmer’s markets or this one contact Rene’ McCracken atrmccracken(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)ntcc.edu or 903-434-8267.