Buzzed

I felt like I was at the end of my tether. David had been away in Boston and Chicago for almost 3 weeks, and I (Jen) was very ready to hand some responsibility back over to him. By the time I got to market Wednesday morning, I couldn’t answer any questions or make any decisions. He did get back Thursday morning at 3am after a little too much airport drama. But he made it. The COVID test came back negative twice. The next day after work, we went down to the Avon River to cool off. It felt good to just stand there, waist deep in cool water, appreciating where we were, close to the ocean.

Buzz pollination is something we knew nothing about until two students from Saint Mary’s University started monitoring pollinators on the farm. Terrell and Evan have been visiting several NS farms (including Abundant Acres) over the last two growing seasons to keep tabs on pollinator populations and activities. They know we’re curious about their observations so Terrell told me about this buzz pollination he’d seen on tomatoes in the fox field. You can watch a YouTube video about it here, but Terrell showed me a video he’d taken on our tomatoes. I could see for myself the different frequency of buzzing that bumble bees use so the tomato flowers release their pollen. It’s very romantic! Next time you eat a nice, juicy tomato, you can think about the contribution of these native pollinator bees to the creation of the fruit.

This is a hot time to get field work and greenhouse work done! The farm team is working hard in this heat to send a steady stream of beautiful crops to Market. The Market team is working hard to keep everything cool and fully stocked. This year these two teams of wonderful people are really thinking and putting great systems into place. Please send us your favourite ways of using all the tomatoes, eggplant, herbs, greens, carrots and zucchini. Kate sent a photo of her farro and summer vegetable creation from Smitten Kitchen (copied below). Here’s a link to the recipe.

Summer farro and summer vegetable dish submitted by Kate.
Morning planning meeting with the farm team. Shout out to LakeCity Plastics, a social enterprise in Dartmouth that makes outdoor furniture out of recycled plastic. Thanks to Wendy and Ron Scott for the wonderful gift!
Native bee pollinating a tomato flower (Photo: Terrell Roulston). According to Terrell, “Bumblebees and tomato plants have co-evolved. The frequency the bees produce is a key to unlock the pollen within the flower. This is a mutualistically beneficial relationship because bumblebees have a monopoly on tomatoes and the tomatoes benefit by ensuring their energetically expensive gametes get transferred to another tomato plant. The tomato plant is ensuring cross pollination because the bumble bees are prioritizing visiting tomatoes as they get so much pollen only they can access…  It’s a very fascinating relationship!”
Wow, the onions planted in hoop houses this spring got so big! The white salad turnips are grown outside and they are an ideal size.
We try to keep a good selection of greens available all year. Here Johanna is harvesting dandelion greens in front field. She also works at the Warehouse Market.
Tomatoes available at Warehouse Market from Abundant Acres
Margaret helped take soil samples from greenhouses and fields this week. We are tracking soil health over time for optimum production and carbon storage. The soil is a fascinating world yet to be discovered fully. It’s always good to have a look at what’s happening under the surface.
Intentional insect habitat between beds of beets and lettuce

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s