Friday, July 25, 2014

Cookbook News

As most of you know a group of dedicated members are putting together a cookbook using the recipes we donated over the past year.  While they are working hard to pull it all together they have tasked the rest of us with two fun projects. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Invasive Species-There's An App For That

The mobile Report-a-Weed BC app is available free of charge for iPhone and Android platforms. It lets you report weed sightings anywhere in BC, in just a few simple steps. Your report will go to one of BC's invasive plant specialists, who will coordinate follow-up activities with the appropriate local authorities. 

The app can be used off-line to create submissions as well; simply complete the report, click ‘Submit’ and the report will be sent as soon as you are back in cell coverage. Features include a map of BC that displays the 500 most recent submission details, statistics on the number of locations reported for each species, and the ability to search through images of all 202 invasive plant species on the list.
Simply take a picture, indicate the infestation size with the handy slider, and add your contact info (this will only be necessary the first time you make a report).

Download the app from

Here is a small sample of the plants on the list.

Monday, July 21, 2014

FRUIT FLY BULLETIN #11 Signs of SWD in Raspberries

Just a quick bulletin. New development.

Up until now, we had been keeping up with the raspberries nicely by picking each day.
But yesterday several of us found the first signs of the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)
damaging our raspberries. There is some suspicious soft fruit on our canes now - we notice an
unusual softening at the bottom of the fruit - it just loses its normal texture, gets mushy. Then
upon examination, we find the tiny white larvae in the fruit. Last year I observed that this
softened fruit would then just hang there and shrivel up. I saw the same thing happen when the
SWD started into the blackberries.

courtesy University of Wisconsin

So what do we do now with our berry crops?

Friday, July 11, 2014

FRUIT FLY BULLETIN #10 Developments

There have been some developments in the two days since I sent Bulletin #9.  Some identification is coming in.  Update as follows:

1.  From the entomologist, Tracy, who is with BC Ministry of Agriculture in Abbotsford:

Tracy has replied about the specimens I mailed to her:
(a) Re the cherry specimens from garden on Michigan Avenue in vicinity of Fire Hall: oviposition scars, egg filaments, and drosophila larvae, indicating the presence of SWD in fruit.

(b) Re specimens of cherries and larvae from Brunswick Avenue in the vicinity of VIU: 
    - cherries:   oviposition scars, egg filaments, and drosophila larvae, indicating the presence of SWD in fruit.
4-5 larvae from these cherries:  these look like small cherry fruit fly larvae.  

2.  The bee inspector, Caroline, is helping me and given me the use of her microscope.  On Wednesday we examined larvae from cherries from

Thursday, July 10, 2014



The battle is heating up with cherries in Westview.
This week I’ve had a number of reports of grubs in cherries from almost all corners of Westview: 

• Grief Point area: two reports (one on Hernando and the other near Marine/Penticton) but I think these growers have been keeping up with the picking so the grubs have not been too 

• VIU area (within a few blocks of the college) - quite a few grubs and we also seem to be finding exit holes so I have put up a Cherry Fruit Fly (CFF) trap with lure. This grower is doing a good job of getting all fruit off the tree and destroying the larvae 

• Mid-Westview, within a few blocks of the Fire Station - beautiful trees, heavily laden, badly infested so that 75% - 90% of the fruit is spoiled. Holes, oozing juice, rot, mold, grubs. The owner was doing a valiant job yesterday of getting all the fruit off the trees and into black plastic bags which he will tie up and put in the hot sun to destroy the larvae. Not sure if it is Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) or CFF; I have set CFF trap with lure there too. 

• Near Post Office - owner was not aware of grubs being present but the person who obtained some of these cherries found them. 

• No reports yet of problems from other parts of Powell River yet. 

• Today I mailed off specimens of larvae and infested cherries to the entomologist, and we hope she can give us some identification by the weekend. 


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Edible Garden Tour

Here is some info from Powell River Food Security Project:

One of the summertime's more popular events, the Edible Garden Tour, is back for its sixth consecutive year on Sunday August 3, 2014. This year the tour will showcase a set of gardens in Edgehill/Cranberry in the morning ( 9-12 noon) and another set of gardens in Wildwood in the afternoon (2-5pm).The tour is self-guided and visitors can see the gardens in any order, so long as

Tuesday, July 1, 2014



It is the end of June as I write. The weather is getting warmer. Strawberries are ripe, raspberries
are coming along fast, and early cherries are ready.

1. It is still early in the season. So far I have had no reports of Spotted Wing Drosophila sighted,
nor have I picked up any in my vinegar traps – although I am starting to see suspicious small
flies hanging around raspberries. We will be able to identify male SWD by the spots on wings,
but females do not have spots and it takes a microscope to identify them. The SWD start to get
active and begin to deposit eggs as soon as fruit has ripened enough for the skin to be soft
enough for them to pierce the skin with their ovidepositors. We expect their numbers to steadily
increase through July and August.

2. With fruit ripening, we must right now be picking as soon as it is ripe, even just before it is
fully ripe. Once picked, store it cool. Then keep picking regularly through the harvest period,
and at the end pick the tree/bush clean of all fruit. Also clean up all fruit that has fallen to the
ground. Do not throw it into your compost. (Hints below on getting all the fruit picked.)

3. If you have not yet