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August 2016 Newsletter
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Bats and Zika
Over the years, we have installed about nine bat houses on the farm. A single bat box can house about 300 bats and collectively, the residents of just that single house can consume about 1,000,000 mosquitoes per night. Multiply that by nine and it's easy to understand why we don't have a major mosquito problem on our property like some of our other neighbors. The rainy season is especially awful in North Florida. It's not uncommon to get swarmed by mosquitoes in the early morning before the sun really gets up. Swatting at biting mosquitoes is certainly not pleasant way to start morning chores, not to mention, mosquitoes carry disease. Not only Zika, but also diseases that can affect our chickens, such as fowl pox, avian influenza, etc. We rely on our bat populations to help us through the summer. While some people spray for mosquitoes, we recognize that this is harmful to the honey bees and native pollinators that call our farm home. We would never want to destroy these populations to control the population of a pest. We are grateful for the biodiversity on our farm, and for the bat's role in the cycle!
French Invasion
This summer, we are hosting an intern from France! Anne-Sophie hails from Brittany and this is the first time she's been to the United States. She studies animal science with a focus on poultry, and we couldn't be more thrilled to be hosting her. Already, she has acclimated to the hot Florida summer, jumped in like a total team player, and has even helped us refine some of the processes around the farm. True to French fashion, she didn't want us to make a fuss about her, so she declined a picture here. But, she's named our latest farm mascot, a Twentse rooster: Claude Francois. We didn't know this, and we imagine you may not either, but Claude Francois was a pop singer popular in France in the 70's. Do you see the resemblance?
One Acre Eden Reboot
If you've been following our progress in OAE, you'll be happy to know that we have rebooted the web presence of our project. We have a webpage that you can visit here for more frequent updates. We also have a facebook page, an instagram account, and a twitter feed, so be sure to follow us on all of our social media outlets. In the next few months, we'll be building more raised beds in preparation for our fall garden. We're also closing in on the completion of our residential container. Lots of new, exciting stuff, so keep following!