Thursday, April 27, 2006

Our struggle against the carrot fly

To the vegetable grower, carrot fly is the worst thing in the world. They lay their eggs in the soil, and when you come to harvest you find that the young maggots have eaten up most of your crop.

Students of the Old Testament will, of course, remember that the Lord would regularly send a small pestilence of carrot fly unto the land to vex his people. But perhaps not as well documented, but equally important, is the appalling starvation suffered by the peasants of East Grinstead during the Great Carrot Famine of 1754-55.

As we hope to avoid this sort of misfortune, we’ve surrounded the carrots with a shield of horticultural fleece. We hope they now won’t find their way in.

Shortly after we’d finished building this (frankly magnificent) shield, we asked one of the veterans of the allotment if anyone had ever had any trouble with carrot fly. ‘No no, we never get it here,’ he assured us.

Oh, well. I suppose that’s good news.

‘But we do get a hell of a lot of wireworm.’

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