by Frank van Steenbergen
Postcard from Krabbendijke, the Netherlands. Beautiful flower strips adorn onion and potato fields. It is beauty but it is also more than that it – it is also pest control.
The flower strips consist of dandelion, cornflower, butter cups, sunflower and more – all native plants, very common in meadow lands of the past. Yet as meadows now consist of blanket ryegrass, this floral diversity had gone.
It is now reintroduced in the shape of flower strips along the fields. The composition of the flower strips is tailored to the surrounding fields as the aim is to attract the natural enemies of pests harmful to the commercial crop, or to intercept the pest themselves. The composition of the special seed packages are adjusted as per the crop at hand. Though not replacing it, this new method of regenerative farming is reducing the need to use pesticide significantly and is gaining popularity. And so the beauty of the flower strips spreads.