January 2017 - Good Bugs; Bad Bugs - Organice Pest & Disease Control
Jackie Hamblet - Master Gardener

The first meeting of 2017 welcomed a total of 65 members and guests to the North Conway Community Center. It was a cold winter day which was preceded by a very snowy and windy weekend. We were supposed to meet at the Salyards but found out in the morning that the pipes were frozen, so made a quick switch via website, email, phone and sign on the Salyards door that we were going to meet at the North Conway Community Center.

Hospitality set out a beautiful winter themed table filled with a scrumptious spread of treats and goodies.

President, Wendy McVey reported on the many activities and projects that the club is currently involved in. Treasurer, Len Whitmore reviewed our current financial status and Kathy Kozeill presented a quick description of the results of the December Holiday Boutique.

We had a short break, raffle prize drawing and then jumped into our featured program.

Jackie Hamblet, a Master Gardener for nine years, works on various community projects and presents garden programs throughout the country. Her presentation addressed beneficial “bugs” as well as organic pest and disease control.

Entomologists estimate that more than 90% of all insects are beneficial, so chances are that most of the insects you see in your garden are not causing your plants any harm. In the wise words of Edward Smith, “Good pest and disease management means understanding that pests are not the problem in themselves, but symptoms of problems.” Designing and managing gardens to shelter and encourage natural enemies for the bad bugs provides a balanced environment for plants to grow to their full potential.

Jackie recommended the following books for those who want to research this topic in more detail:

  • Mac's Field Guide: Bad Garden Bugs of the Northeast / Good Garden Bugs of the Northeast - by Craig MacGowan
  • The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Pest & Disease Control - by Fern Marshall Bradley
  • The Vegetable Gardener's Bible, 2nd edition - by Edward C. Smith

She also recommended Good Earth Farm in Weare, NH. as a source for organic seedlings. The farm has been certified organic since 1987 and has been growing transplants (or seedlings) for sale for more than 20 years.  They are committed to following organic principles and you can be assured that no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, growth retardants, fungicides or fumigants are used in our greenhouses. To find out more about them, go to their website at www.goodearthfarmnh.com