Friday, March 24, 2017

Garden Pests - Texas Honeybee Guild - Heirloom Seeds

Spring sprung this week and we had a lot of work cut out for us. The kids were thrilled with the huge growth that they noticed in their garden beds, but were disappointed to find some problems.  Since we missed a week on the farm enjoying Spring Break, we weren't around to notice that the Brassica plants were being annihilated by the caterpillars of the Cabbage Butterfly.  In two days, we discovered over 600 caterpillars under the leaves of our broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage. The chickens enjoyed some protein as we learned that they loved to munch on these garden pests. The good news is that the kids found more beneficial insects than pests, so the balance of nature is winning. Ask them about their findings and have them check your home gardens. They are really good at it! 

Our 5th and 6th graders are learning about local agriculture and welcomed Susan Pollard from the Texas Honeybee Guild. They learned about the importance of bees in our food system as well as the alarming news that honeybees have been added to the Endangered Species list. Hopefully, the kids will share what they learned and teach others about ways to help save the bees. Without bees, we wouldn't have food!

Did you know that many of the historically significant foods are no longer present in our food system? Big agriculture companies are doing much of the farming in the United States and they are making the decisions about what is offered at the grocery store. Our after school farm camp helped out by planting some of these heirloom seeds that Slow Food USA sent to us. They planted bean varieties of Turkey Craw, Cherokee Trail of Tears, Mayflower and Dragon's Tongue, Seed potatoes and Deer Tongue lettuce. Our job is to plant, harvest, save seeds and share our results with Slow Food USA. Come to the farm and check out our  History Garden by the chicken coop. We also had a special guest, Caroline, who helped us plant the cotton seed that her Grandfather, a farmer from West, Texas shared with us. 

Our Kinder friends got to sample their Deer Tongue lettuce and they loved it!

#GrowingGoodness day after day at Moss Haven Farm.., That is how we roll!

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