Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Potato Bugs

Potato bugs we called them when I was a kid, a menace for potato patches. They still are a problem today maybe more so than ever as chemical treatments have toughened them rather than eliminated them.

Their official name is Colorado Potato Beetle; they feast on potato vines and leave most everything else in the garden alone. An age old system for controlling them works –somewhat anyway. We used it when I was a kid; I still use it to today.
You walk down the row of potatoes, and when you spot a potato bug you drop it in a little pail with some water in the bottom. When I was a kid, Pa poured an inch or so of kerosene in the pail. He wanted to make sure that once we picked them they would never ever find another potato plant to chew on.

I saw an ad in a farm paper for a “sure kill “system for eliminating potato bugs. “Mail in five dollars.” I’ll not say who answered the ad, but when the sure kill system arrived, it consisted of two small blocks of wood with some simple instructions. “Place potato bug on block A. Strike smartly with block B.” It worked.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: A good cup of coffee in the morning gives you the gumption to face the day, no matter how many problems and challenges lie in wait.


July 6, 6:00 p.m. Chilton Library, Chilton, WI Campfires and Loon Calls

July 10, 11-2:00 Pickle Station, Saxeville, WI. Booksigning.

July 26, Noon, Wis Historical Society Museum, on the Square, Madison, WI. Ringling Bros. Circus.

July 31-August 6, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County.

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