Saturday, June 02, 2012

Pollinator Party!

Now that we have moved to KW we have joined my friend Angie's CSA. We are very excited about eating vegetables where we know not only the grower, but also where they have come from. The best part is that we get to go out to the farm to pick up our food and can help out while we're there. It's the best of all worlds in terms of gardening -- we get the yummy vegetables, and we get to do a bit of the work but not all of it! Ha!

Angie's farm has recently been certified as bee friendly and today was a day to celebrate that. Boy, did we have fun. The first order of business though was looking out for Miss Rachel.

Despite the fact that it looks like we deserted her in the middle of nowhere, she actually had very good care this morning. Dave's parents came and took her to New Hamburg.

Sam's first order of business was to check out the tractor. He wanted to drive it like he does with Opa's tractor and was a little disappointed that driving it wasn't on the agenda for today. (Or any other day for that matter!).

The next order of business was a scavenger hunt with the aim of constructing a bug hotel.

Sam loved carrying trays of straw and didn't really care to gather the other things like rocks, sticks, bark and grass. Eventually we convinced him that the other stuff was fun too.

And Sam ended up having very specific ideas of where the straw and sticks should go. Be warned: If you end up hiring him as your interior decorator he won't compromise very well!

Next up was building native bees nests. We discovered that most bees are actually not social creatures who like to live in hives. They prefer to move in to some already existing hole and make their nests there. So we used a hand drill to make holes in wood to be hung around the farm to help attract bees. Sam LOVED using the hand drill and didn't want help with it. Raise your hand if you're surprised!
Next up was a tour of the farm. It was so neat to see all the thought that is put into growing our food both in terms of what is healthiest for us and also what is best for the land. Here is Angie with some garlic, the scapes of which will be showing up in our CSA share one of these days. And also some pretty fava beans in bloom. Thankfully Angie provides recipes along with the food so I'll know how to cook some of this stuff.

And what's a trip to your CSA farm without tasting some of the local food. Here are Sam and Dave eating sorrel (which was surprisingly yummy!) and Hakurei Turnips which were really good.

We finished the morning off by planting some bee-friendly flowers. Here is Sam pointing out the flowers he helped plant. By "helping" we mean he dropped the plant in the hole and squished it in a bit! Fortunately plants are pretty hardy and they bounced back quickly!

This was a great and educational day at the farm and we look forward to more of them this summer.

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