I’ve written a bit about how organic farmers battle pests and build soil health, but did you know that they are also stewards of insect habitats? Large-scale farming operations, particularly those producing conventionally-grown produce, grow large monocultures with little diversity among the plants, insects, and soil organisms. But small-scale organic farmers need to foster healthy communities of beneficial insects and pollinators to keep their crops healthy. Ladybugs are released into fields to munch on insect pests like aphids. Beehives are often kept onsite or wildflowers grow on the borders of the fields to attract native bee populations. And both Whipstone and Willowbrook Farms grow milkweed to help imperiled monarch butterflies. Milkweed is the sole food of monarch caterpillars, so these plants are instrumental in sustaining monarch butterfly populations. Numerous milkweed species can grow in Arizona, so our growers do their part by providing space to cultivate this important plant and keep monarch butterflies flying in our skies.
What’s in your basket – September 22nd
Carrots – Whipstone Farm
Kale – Willowbrook Farm
Onions – Whipstone Farm
Roasted chiles – Whipstone Farm
Salad turnips – Whipstone Farm
Shishito peppers – Willowbrook Farm
Summer squash – Whipstone Farm
Tomatoes – Willowbrook Farm
Monarch caterpillar munching on milkweed at Willowbrook Farm.
Tomatoes are still going strong!
Sunset at Whipstone Farm. Beautiful as always.