When one chooses to grow organically it forces more outside-the-box thinking. Pests can't simply be sprayed away, though there are several sprays that can be used. For our Fall Garden we chose to try covering the broccoli. I ordered some "plant fabric" and some half-hoops for our beds. The fabric is more like paper; it's somewhat felted, though thin. So instead I used half a sheer curtain panel from IKEA! These are very inexpensive and are something of a mesh. I am happy to report that even after a hard rain yesterday the fabric has held up just fine. I'm putting this lesson away for the spring!
Our rain barrels are full; our seeds have sprouted; the broccoli is doing fine; and - drum roll, please - we have three tiny baby asparagus! I didn't expect to see anything until next year yet here they are!
One other note: We were right to use the raised bed system. Of the plants planted directly into the soil we have lost all our lavender and the rest are struggling, but I believe will survive. We planted the perennial herbs such as oregano and mint there as well as some berry bushes. I've been giving them lots of compost but they have to work so hard in our soil to make a living I'm not sure they will every thrive. We'll see.