Julia and John McIntyre, Trebuchet Hill
Cucumber Beetle Suppression with Alternative Row Cover and Introduced Pollinators
Grant Award: $6,000
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.
In 2019, they employed 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 saw increased yields up to 35% and were able to plant a second crop of cucumbers during the same growing season, which increased their income significantly.
The grant paid 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, festivals and to 5 restaurants in Watauga County.