In the Garden

Aug 18

I have always been a “foodie”. My mother was a great cook. When I was growing up we always had a big garden. You may recall one of my blog postings last year about a tomato. Well, this is the first year in Colorado that I actually have some really large beefsteak tomatoes growing. I can’t wait until they ripen and I can gorge myself. But there are some other troubling things about the growing season this year, in Colorado and elsewhere.

I was talking to my brother recently about my garden. He lives in Charlotte and his wife has a bunch of tomato plants growing but no tomatoes. There was an article in the Charlotte Observer about the fact that the bees aren’t around to pollinate the tomatoes. The article gave instructions to shake the plants to pollinate them if there are no pollinators (bees) present. I got to thinking about my tomatoes. They get shaken up a lot because I am out there a lot poking around, moving the stakes and messing around with them. So I wondered if I was pollinating instead of the bees. Then it occurred to me that it must be my action around the plants because my zucchini’s are a completely different story.

Last year I had so many zucchini I could not keep up with them. This year started out well but just as the plants were hitting their stride in blooms the fruit production stopped. I realized that the female blooms are not getting pollinated. It has been 3 weeks. I have plenty of blooms but no new zucchini.

This isn’t an isolated problem. As I searched the internet I found that it is happening all over the place. It is a problem that is only getting limited play in the MSM but rest assured it is a serious problem. Without the bees we will lose many of our vegetable, fruit and nut crops. In the US most of the articles say there is no consensus on what is causing the loss of the bees – known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Research in France indicates that it is related to widespread pesticide use. Of course, there will never be a consensus because competing interests never agree.

I am suggesting that you do your own research and get involved.

One comment

  1. You don’t say where you live, and that can make a BIG difference in how much sucsecs you would have growing in a greenhouse in winter. I live in Minnesota, where of course it gets really cold and days are short. I worked in a hydroponic greenhouse here, and we grew only greens, lettuces, kale, the winter. Spring through fall we grew tomatoes, basil, peppers and other greens, but they just won’t grow in the winter, there isn’t enough light. It also costs a lot of money to heat a greenhouse in winter, so do your homework before you make a decision. I should say that you can add supplemental lighting to a greenhouse in winter, but again it is very expensive.

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