$6,000 — Cucumber Beetle Suppression with Alternative Row Cover and Introduced Pollinators
Trecuchet Hill has been producing small batch organic artisanal pickles since 2016. Because of their popularity and demand, plans are to scale up and double production in 2019. Since cucumbers are the critical component of their value-added product, it has become imperative for them to find an effective method to battle pests and disease, especially from the cucumber beetle that transmit bacteria wilt to young cucumber plants. They will be employing the use of caterpillar tunnels sealed tightly during the entire growing season to prevent the entry of the prolific beetle, slowing the transmission and growth of fungal diseases. By slowing the onset of fungal diseases, they hope to see increased yields up to 35% and the potential for planting a second crop of cucumbers during the same growing season, which would increase their income as much as 50% for the season. The grant will pay for materials used to construct caterpillar tunnels including top rail fencing, paracord, greenhouse plastic, insect netting, landscape fabric, and thermal frost blankets. Trebuchet Hill sells at multiple farmers markets and to 5 restaurants in Watauga County.