Well, the SWD bugs won. Because we didn't want to spray chemicals on our fruit, we have decided to let go of the raspberry crop.
Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) is a pest native to Asia that arrived in the U.S. in 2008. It’s a version of the common fruit fly, but with a sinister twist. The female lays larvae in the berries (up to to 60 in one day) and ruins the fruit. It’s a multi-national, multi-million dollar problem -- California lost over 40% of their 2016 crop.
Despite our attempts to mitigate the pest with traps, traps and more traps, keeping the fields clean of over-ripe fruit (thanks pickers for helping with that!) and the application of an organic mint insecticide, it just was too much for our plucky farm crew.
We share your disappointment. We're feeling it, too.