Thursday, August 15, 2013

Locally Made

My garden is a little haven for happy pollinators.  Not only do I plant a wide variety of things, and allow many to go to seed (and hence, provide flowers), but I also leave little spaces of wildness.  Some people would say, Hah.  You just neglect to weed!, and they would be right.  I don't see why we need to go all crazy with clearing out the weeds--after a point, they don't hurt anything that I want to have grow, and they actually help the garden retain moisture and often shade out my more heat-hating vegetables so they don't shrivel and die when the hot summer sun wants to bake them into submission.  More than anything, though, those weeds provide spaces for the happy insects to hang out.  Little cabanas for the pollinators and beneficial insects, if you will.  I have a colony of mason bees that returns every summer, and hosts of honeybees and bumblebees fly in from all directions.  It is a busy, busy place, my little garden!

One of the sadnesses of my life is that I have developed a bee sting allergy, due to an unfortunate summer of rampant ground bee infestation.  I have an epipen I cart around with me when I do lots of gardening when everything is in bloom--not that I expect to get stung, but you never know when you might accidentally brush against a busy bee and frighten them into biting.  It makes me most sad, though, that I can never have a hive of bees of my own.  Oh, and I do so love honey!

I solve this dilemma by buying up copious amounts of locally grown honey during the summer season.  Last summer, I stockpiled jars and jars of the stuff.  Now, in August, I am down to my last two pint jars.  Yikes!  Good thing there are still a few weeks of the local Farmer's Market left.  I love going and buying my honey from the part-time bee keepers, who sell their liquid gold in recycled jelly and spaghetti sauce jars.  I've found honey of all different shades, my favorite being the darkest of the dark, nearly amber-brown of local basswood honey.  It is rich, and flavor-deep, perfect for baking...or stirring into a cup of warm tea.  Besides, buying my honey locally helps me to support the efforts of the beekeepers, who are struggling to maintain the health of their colonies in the wake of pesticide poisoning and related die-offs.  Poor bees.  It is worth paying the few extra dollars to local folks for their quality, I get to resupply my stash!

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading your blog and could totally imagine your garden in my head. I too leave some weeds out... I mean who's to say what a weed is any way. They do give a place for the buggies to go and the bees love the clover. I am sorry about your bee allergy buy happy you can find local honey. I am going to beekeeping school in October so hope to be harvesting my own honey in a year or two. Thank you for a fun read!


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