Beetle Juice

When I was a boy, my family and I lived on a large farm in New Lowell.  Onc of the things we grew were potatoes.  I swore when I was an adult I would never, ever farm again!  And certainly I would never grow potatoes.

As it happens, one of the things I planted first when we lived on the farm at RR # 1 Barrie we potatoes… acres of them.  The soil was sandy and I knew potatoes would grow well there.  Besides, I loved potatoes and there is nothing as good as those early little golden nugget ones that now cost and arm and a leg to buy.

In spring, I would purchase some seed potatoes from a farmer in Craighurst, rig up my tractor with a harrow I purchased from a local farm, and tilled and harrowed the land/ sand.  It was quite an event – and Paula and Stacey and I would drop the potatoes in the furrows I had created in anticipation of a bumper crop.  I remember when our little cousins Jason and Adam would come to visit and help us plant too – of course everyone wanted to ride the tractor- the “SS 15” (Simpson Sears 15 horse-power model).

The one problem I had was that everyone loved the potatoes – and some even loved the plants!  The plant lovers, of course were the potato beetles.  They would chew the young spring leaves and then the plant would die.  I tried to keep them under control without using any pesticides or harmful spray – but squishing them between my fingers became rather gruesome as they aged – and well, there were just too many of them.

I used to subscribe to a magazine called, “Harrowsmith”.  I read an article once that bugs had their own poisons in them and one of the remedies for potato bugs was to blend them up in a blender and spray them back onto the plants.

Well, Paula didn’t want me using her blender – so I bought myself a used one.

Stacey and I went out to the potato fields and harvested a jar full of bugs.  I added some water, put the blender on fine chop and voila …. bug juice. I put the juice into my sprayer and wouldn’t you know it – the juice worked.  Well, I think it worked.

Paula wasn’t very impressed when I told the tell of my bug juice to company as we dined on some early golden nuggets – but we all enjoyed mashed, baked, and boiled potatoes for the entire season.  I guess I was one of the first “organic” farmers in Simcoe County – and made the best beetle juice this side of Lake Simcoe.

Categories: The Farm | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Beetle Juice

  1. just wondering what’s the taste like?

  2. I love this story!

  3. Chris

    i like that instead of being bothered by the bugs so much that you started using pesticides you simply gather a bunch of those pests mash em up and spray them back onto the plants they loved so much. maybe its more a warning to the other bugs to not eat them or else they will get mashed up and put onto the plants too makes you think how many other natural things we could use instead of using unnecessary chemicals(pharmaceuticals) for the same thing. i bet you couldn’t even taste the bug guts when you finally got to enjoy your first bite of your potatoes. bugs have lots of protein anyways so you just had an extra healthy meal =)

  4. Reblogged this on High Flight and commented:

    Apparently this “juice” was something that Dad could order from USA – but it never was allowed across the border into Canada.

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