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This is the third summer
the grasshoppers
in the millions
are decimating plants.
This is the third year
we have spread an organic control
and perhaps it helps,
but the hoppers
are thick again this year.
Organic growers we know
use all-of-the-above methods
to try to outsmart the chompers:
covering garden plants with cloth;
refraining from mowing some areas
so the grasshoppers will feast there
and leave vegetable plants alone;
raising flocks of guineas and chickens
to devour the bugs.
At the farmhouse,
where I planted a wildlife habitat,
the grasshoppers are especially thick in it
(they are wildlife!)
and in the corral,
where we have an epic crop
of sunflowers.

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Grasshoppers on a stalk of Lambs Quarter
in Wildlife Habitat

Perhaps wishful thinking
has clouded my eyes for objective observation,
but so far they aren’t as thick
around the flower beds.
Earlier in the season,
before the wildlife plot
grew up,
they, overnight, attacked the onion tops
and I had to pull the bulbs
before they were mature.

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Cardboard tubes prevented cut worm damage
in the onion patch earlier in season,
then the grasshoppers started chewing onion tops

At the pond house,
where Ann grows our vegetables,
grasshoppers are thick in patches of sunflowers
and the outdoor vegetable garden,
but haven’t discovered
the plants in the high tunnel—
another reason
the high tunnel has proved to be
an excellent way to garden
these days in Oklahoma.
Some friends have had to give up
hope of harvesting some vegetables.
I keep thinking
the grasshopper invasion
will cycle down again.
But cycles seem
to be going out of existence…