Is not for the faint of heart.
It means I spend a half an hour each evening hunting under and over each leaf, smushing my prey with my bare hands.
There’s a perverse satisfaction to it. The most fun are the fat green tomato hornworms, stupid big bullies that quickly strip leaves but deposit a pelleted trail that makes them very easy to find. With every green gut squish I am fighting the good fight as I try to stay ahead of the bugs without pesticides. However, I know things could turn bad in a day, when the tipping point between manual control and inevitable reproduction is reached.
But for right now, things are looking pretty good. I had my first harvest this week: cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, Japanese eggplant, red Russian kale, and great boughs of basil that went straight into pesto. It’s officially summer in the kitchen.