Take growing apples. Spring 2007 we planted two apple trees. They had tiny apples on them when we bought them, but birds and bugs got them. 2008, late freeze, no apples. 2009, late freeze, no apples. I had decided that if we didn't get apples this year, I was going to cut them down and plant something that bloomed later in the spring. Then, lo and behold, one tree was covered with blooms this year, and the other tree had one bloom. The tree with lots of blooms, soon had lots of tiny apples, and I began searching for an organic way to keep pests and disease from ruining my crop. The infamous "they" say that commercially grown apples are sprayed with more pesticides than almost any other fruit.
I found this website describing the bagging process and other gardening websites also talked about bagging. The apples were growing in little clusters of two or three and let me tell you it nearly killed me to pull off the extra apples.
I bought some zip lock bags and put them on half of the apples, leaving the other half as my control group, but first I rinsed the experimental apples with vinegar and water. I figured it might destroy any bacteria that had already gotten into the little apples. After days of strong wind, the bags opened but didn't come completely off. I used a hole punch in the center of the zipper and put them back on. That seemed to work to keep the zipper sealed. Hubby said some of the uncovered apples have been visited by bugs, so today I covered them.
When the in-laws were over, they asked about the bags and I told them what I had learned. Father-in-law just shook his head and walked away. Mother-in-law had to take it a step further and tell me that farmers had been growing apples for years and couldn't very well put bags on every apple. Yes, but I only have one tiny apple tree and I don't want to use pesticides.
Mother-in-law persisted and I bit my tongue, smiled, and replied that I know why Santa keeps a list and I know how to spell her name too.
Until next time, may you have blessings and enjoy the fruits of your labor,