Newsletter 6/20/18 – Pollinators are cool!
Pollinators are really cool. When you spend a lot of time looking at plants (as we do here), you tend to notice pollinating insects bopping around the flowers. Whether it’s one of our crops, the weeds between the beds, or the native plants in the wetlands area and along the fence lines, if a plant is flowering, there is a good chance you could see something taking advantage of that pollen and sweet, sweet nectar.
For us to harvest our “fruits” (botanically speaking) – like squash, beans, tomatoes, and strawberries – the plants first have to flower. Every snow pea that you get in your share this week came from its own tender flower, for example. Most fruits that we eat need to be pollinated by insects. Thankfully there are so many native pollinators that live around the farm to help make that happen every year. Just a few weeks ago there was a deafening buzzing of bumblebees coming from the blossom-covered raspberries.
This year, we have a hive of honey bees down towards the creek, nestled near some trees against the wind. They live in a top-bar hive, building their own combs that hang down from narrow wooden strips into a long box. Hopefully they will find plenty of extra nectar around the farm this season that they will make enough honey to share with us, but for now it is just exciting to get to observe what plants they like to visit around the farm (flowering thyme was a big hit), and to go inside the hive every once in a while to see what they’re up to. I’m so grateful for these honeybees and all the rest of the pollinators, and I hope you think of them and all the work they do every time you eat a pea or strawberry this summer!