YIN/YANG patch (green)

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YIN/YANG patch (green)

10.00

Yin/Yang of the Tomato Hornworm

In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

Tomato hornworms are easily the bane of the tomato grower. These caterpillars seem to almost appear out of nowhere, and if left alone can completely devour every prospect of a harvest. But, if left to complete their life-cycles, tomato hornworms will metamorphosize into a five-spotted hawkmoth (Manduca quinquemaculata). Hawkmoth’s are very important pollinators. Some plants solely depend on them for pollination. These moths have a long proboscis, a tubular mouthpart used for sucking and feeding, which is well suited for retrieving nectar from certain flowers. Despite the majesty and specialized importance of the hawkmoth, there has to be some sort of balance if there is to be a tomato crop.

Instead of applying harmful, unpredictable, and devastating chemical pesticides, a much better solution is to introduce the nemesis of the tomato hornworm, the parasitic wasp (Cotesia congregata), into the garden. Adult females lay their eggs inside the skin of the hornworm caterpillar. After hatching, the wasp larvae use the caterpillar as a food source before burrowing out and pupating on the back and sides of the caterpillar. Once the wasps have emerged from their cocoons, the weakened caterpillar dies, and thus a new life-cycle has begun from another’s loss.

These naturally dyed and printed patches are made from up-cycled remnants of 100% cotton canvas. They can be hand or machine sewn on jackets & bags, used to mend rips & tears, pinned to bulletin boards, framed, or simply placed on your altar as a reminder of the balance of yin and yang.

6.5 by 6.5 inches (slight variations in size may occur - give or take .25 inches)

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