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Category — Bugs

Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control

There are 19 detailed bug profiles and 39 plant profiles

By Jessica Walliser
Timber Press
2014

It may seem counterintuitive to want bugs in a garden, but insects are indeed valuable garden companions. Especially those species known for eating the bugs that eat plants. Assassin bugs, damsel bugs, and predatory stink bugs are all carnivores that devour the bugs that dine on a garden.

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March 28, 2014   Comments Off

McGill Students Win $1Million to Farm Insects


The Desautels team includes Mohammed Ashour, Zev Thompson, Shobhita Soor, Gabriel Mott and Jesse Pearlstein.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization reports that insects are eaten seasonally by 2.5 billion people worldwide.

CTV Montreal
September 23, 2013

Excerpt:

A group of McGill students has been awarded $1 million to help create a company that will farm insects.

The Hult Prize was awarded to McGill University’s Aspire team by former president Bill Clinton Monday evening at an event in New York City.

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September 27, 2013   Comments Off

The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook

eatabug

Revised: 40 Ways to Cook Crickets, Grasshoppers, Ants, Water Bugs, Spiders, Centipedes, and Their Kin [Paperback]

By David George Gordon
Ten Speed Press
2nd edition (July 16 2013)
136 pages

With its stylish new package, updated information on the health and environmental benefits of insect eating, and breed-your-own instructions, this new edition of The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook is the go-to resource for anyone interested in becoming an entomological epicure.

For many Americans, eating a lowly insect is something you’d only do on a dare. But with naturalist and noted bug chef David George Gordon, bug-eating is fun, exciting, and downright delicious!

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August 30, 2013   Comments Off

Canada Post produces ‘Beneficial Insect’ series


The golden-eyed lacewing (Chrysopa oculata), the paper wasp (Polistes fuscatus) and margined leatherwing (Chauliognathus marginatus).

The bugs are back — it’s a philatelic infestation! This fall, Canada Post has issued a special souvenir sheet with selected Beneficial Insects low value definitives.

Oct. 16, 2012

Issued in honour of the 125th anniversary of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, the souvenir sheet is aimed at young, beginning collectors. “The Society has always been committed to passing on knowledge about stamp collecting to subsequent generations, which is no doubt a factor in its longevity,” says Canada Post’s Director of Stamp Services Jim Phillips. “You could say we’re helping the Society pass on the collecting bug.”

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November 24, 2012   Comments Off

Chickens and Residential Pest Control: The Importance of IPM for Urban Agriculture

It’s important to achieve a good ecological balance when raising chickens; otherwise, the chickens could actually be a cause of residential pest control problems

By Mike R. Davis
Eden – Advanced Pest Teechnolgies
March 20, 2012

Excerpt:

From an Integrated Pest Management perspective, backyard chickens bring both advantages and potential problems. The residential pest management benefit of raising chickens is obvious: They eat the common insects that might otherwise pose a pest control problem. Indeed, urban farmers often discover that their garden pest issues are completely resolved once chickens are introduced.

On the other hand, pests are often magnetized to grains and other food sources that are left out in the open. To an ant or mouse, a full bowl of chicken feed looks like a buffet. And once rats, mice and other pests know where you keep the chicken food bowl, they’ll return to it time and time again for a fresh meal.

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April 5, 2012   Comments Off

Giant wasp nest found just in time for Halloween at Vancouver’s Compost Garden


Maria holding wasp nest. Photo by Michael Levenston.

Sheryl: “… A dark shadow that looked like an alien head.”

When staff aren’t giving tours, answering the Compost Hotline, or talking to the media, they are gardening our 1/4 acre ‘office’ in Vancouver. Our front garden is landscaped with native British Columbia plants that we don’t have to water in the summer.

This week Sheryl was doing some Fall clean-up out front on an attractive bush. “It was quite the feeling to be pruning away and then to reveal this dark shadow that looked like an alien head, but upon closer inspection it was a beautiful, perfect, huge wasp nest.”

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October 29, 2011   1 Comment

‘Dreaded’ Wolf Spider at our Compost Garden in Vancouver

Watch Heidi catch a Wolf Spider!

I spotted a rather large Wolf Spider in the compost toilet shed yesterday and knew that the gardeners wouldn’t be happy to come across it unexpectedly. Heidi volunteered to move the unwanted eight-eyed Arachnid and I caught the daring act on video.

During my 30 years at the Compost Garden, various staff have shared with me their fear of the spider, a great insect hunter. Theirs is a common phobia, some feeling it more than others.

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July 29, 2011   Comments Off

Fruit flies be gone – eaten by carnivorous Sundew


Ma, of Pops Predatory Plants, holds a bug eating Sundew, while her frightened niece looks on. Photo by Michael Levenston.

Sundews (Drosera): These sticky plants are great for trapping fruit flies and fungus gnats.

At City Farmer, we get a “horde” of calls about fruit fly problems on our Compost Hotline. The staff have a variety of answers and some of them were reproduced in the Globe and Mail newspaper last week. (See below.)

Our Bug Lady, Maria Keating added one more excellent suggestion, a small Sundew, a plant trap, that can be kept in the kitchen right next to your food scraps bucket. It’s sticky tentacles are ready and hungry for those annoying insects, which often show up on rotting food.

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July 25, 2011   2 Comments

Bees Please – Mason Bee Castle

‘Bees Please’ box is in harmony with its surroundings in Vancouver BC

By Chloe Bennett Design
May 2011

From her blog:

Life has been busy since the last post. This April, we finally installed the ‘Bees Please’ Mason Bee Box in the roundabout at Yew & 6th in Kitsilano. The design process was fast and furious, as we raced to meet Mother Nature’s deadline (mason bees emerge from their cocoons late March / April). Thanks to Doug Patterson, Landscape Architecture professor at UBC, for his support and guidance.

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May 26, 2011   1 Comment

Micro-organisms (algae and phytoplankton) and micro-livestock (insects) for urban food production

bugbox.jpg

Third Millennium Farming - Farmers have returned to the city transformed – a mix between biowaste engineers, biologists, and botanists – managing high tech farms integrated into our buildings’ systems and city infrastructures.

By Jakub Dzamba
Masters of Architecture Studies
University of Toronto
Dec. 2010

This project proposes an idea named third millennium farming (3MF) that is about harnessing the abilities of micro-organisms (algae and phytoplankton) and micro-livestock (insects) to rapidly reproduce, for the purpose of food production. A detailed research project that resulted in the publication of a research paper indicates that 3MF food production strategies have a significantly SMALLER FOODPRINT than current crop farming and livestock rearing methods. Additionally, these new farming operations could be fed with certain types of city bio-wastes creating a new, and more sustainable, type of food chain.

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December 26, 2010   1 Comment

People out, insects in – OSU researcher studies effects of urban gardens

bugsearch.jpg
Researchers Mary Gardiner, Scott Prajzner and Kojo Quaye, from left, lay out traps to collect bug species in a garden in downtown Cleveland. Photo by Will Figg.

“People are really curious about what the heck we could possibly be doing”

By Mark Ferenchik
The Columbus Dispatch
July 18, 2010

Excerpt:

CLEVELAND – Insects are everywhere. In the country and the city. In your mulch bed and your garden.

And they’re all over the sticky pads Mary Gardiner and her team have placed in community gardens and vacant lots in what was once Ohio’s largest city.

Gardiner, an entomologist at Ohio State University’s Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, is leading a team trying to determine the best uses for land that thousands of people once called home.

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July 23, 2010   Comments Off

Third Millennium Farming (3MF) – Insect Farming in Cities

3mfweb
Micro-farming – algae, plankton, insects

By Jakub Dzamba
University of Toronto
Nov, 2009
Email: k.dzamba@utoronto.ca

Excerpts:

The purpose of this living document is to add clarity and factual depth to a concept called micro-farming; where the remarkable ability of micro-organisms and insects to rapidly reproduce is harnessed for the production of food.

Third Millennium Farming (3MF) is about using species of micro-organisms (algae and plankton) that are much better converters of sunlight into plant biomass than even our fastest growing crops, and similarly using species of micro-livestock (insects) that are much better converters of plant biomass into edible meat than even our fastest growing livestock.

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February 12, 2010   Comments Off

New biological pest control laboratory at the forefront of a global revolution in urban food production.

debpest.jpg
Deborah Henderson, director of the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley. Photo By Bill Keay. Vancouver Sun

Food Production: Kwantlen lab on cutting edge of pest control. Langley university to work on process that uses predators, parasites and microbes to fight destructive insects

By Randy Shore
16 Oct 2009
The Vancouver Sun

A new biological pest control laboratory opening today at Kwantlen Polytechnic University will place B.C. at the forefront of a global revolution in urban food production.

The lab — the first of its kind in North America — will develop insect-and microbe-based pest control systems for use on small-scale farms and in areas where farming and housing share space.

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October 16, 2009   1 Comment

Borage flowers attract pollinators to the garden

Once again Maria takes us up close to insects at the Compost Demonstration Garden. In this video she captures honey bees drinking nectar from Borage
flowers.

More on Borage here.

July 14, 2009   Comments Off

Aphids on Fava Beans attract beneficial insects


Click on the YouTube icon to get a higher quality version.

Maria uses her macro lens to close in on our Fava Beans, which are covered in black aphids. Instead of reporting a bad news story, she points out all the beneficial insects dining on the aphids and shows us a bucket of ripe beans that survived despite the pest attack. Later she turned the harvested beans into a delicious Fava Bean humous.

More on Fava Beans here.

July 13, 2009   1 Comment