Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bees forage on corn

We assume that corn is wind pollinated, but bees do forage on corn pollen as well. That is one of the reasons why neonicotinoid pesticides are so dangerous. Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides and although applied to the seed, residues are found in the corn pollen.

There are over 450 species of wild bees in BC. who are important ecosystem pollinators. Wild bees such as bumble bees, leaf cutter bees and blue orchard bees provide important pollination services to farmers. Neonicotinoids are lethal to these bees affecting their maturation rate and their ability to reproduce. Unfortunately, wild bees cannot be moved away from corn and other commercially grown treated plant species during the period of pollen production.

Recently, a panel of 50 scientists that formed the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides studied 800 research papers on pesticides. The combined papers provided conclusive evidence that pesticides are causing mass deaths of bees and butterflies. Neonicotinoides can persist in soil for months or years after a single application. The studies concluded that the use of pesticides present a significant risk to the ecosystem by harming microorganisms and earthworms in the soil.

Bees foraging on corn in the children's community plots at McDonald Park 

Bees foraging on sunflowers  in the children's community plots at McDonald Park

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Public Produce at Elm Avenue

Another Kamloops Food Policy Council public produce initiative is located at the corner of Elm Ave and Tranquille. Check it out, pull a weed and pick a bean.

Public Produce at Kamloops City Hall

City of Kamloops horticulture staff have created another lovely garden in front of city hall combining ornamentals with edibles.

Gazebo needs a coat of stain

What a lovely gazebo in McDonald Park Public Produce Garden! 
It will provide shelter from the hot sun for lots of children's programmes & adult learning.

But it needs a coat of stain.
Can you donate a few hours of your time on Thursday? between 8:00 am - 12:00 pm?  Possibly an evening session too. 
Shelaigh will provide goodies and refreshments.
Please contact Shelaigh if you help.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bagging Apples

Because codling moth is a problem in Kamloops, we're experimenting with various methods of bagging apples so that insects can't lay their eggs on the fruit. We're trying plastic ziplock bags, a homemade netting bag, and a 'footie/sockie'. We've also tried stapling on white paper pastry bags but these all blew off in a Kamloops windy storm. We've got a bit of an apple tree guild going on here, too, with beebalm and borage acting as a forage for pollinators and beneficial insects, green beans as nitrogen fixers and yarrow acting as a nutrient accumulator. It's a permaculture idea that a home gardener could certainly try. Come check it out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

New signs at the garden

Currants are ready to eat - try adding to a tomato & mint salad. 

Gooseberries are ready to eat when pink & soft to the touch. Watch those spines! 

Most herbs are essential food sources for pollinators.
White currants are delicious! 

As soon as this sign was put up a hummingbird appeared!