At NiagaraTryDry, we grow all of our fruit on 5 acres on the bench of the Niagara Escarpment in Beamsville, ON. Our crops consist of cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, grapes, pears, cantaloupe, roma tomatoes, Haskap berries, goji berries, seabuckthorn and varieties of apples.
Although we are not completely organic, we farm using many organic practices and and methods to control insects, disease and weeds within our orchard. We encourage populations of beneficial insects into the orchard, such as Lace Winged Moths,
Hover Flies, Ladybird Beetles, Assassin Bugs, as well as Honey and Bumble Bees, by providing a habitat and a food source by planting sunflowers, alfalfa and clover within the orchard.
We encourage non fruit eating birds into the orchard by providing nesting sites for tree swallows and Eastern Blue Birds.
We mulch the trees in our orchard to provide a habitat for carabid beetles, toads and salamanders to control overwintering insect larvae while controlling weeds at the same time. Hay mulch also helps hold orchard moisture for the trees as well as maintaining micro-organisms within the orchard.
Our problem insects are controlled mainly with trapping insects, the use of specific pheromone dispensers and planting crops such as large marigolds and lavender at the ends of the orchard to discourage insects from entering the orchard. By
using these methods, we are able to greatly reduce the number of pesticides used by 90%.