Gardener's Grapevine 2012.04.04

Written by David Green.

Well, it’s Sunday again—easily my favorite day of the week. I enjoy going to our little church, even though I rarely get a chance to hear Pastor Jack speak. He is probably the best pastor I’ve ever listened to as he makes you think not only outside the box, but all around the box.

I enjoy teaching Sunday school as children see the world in a much broader spectrum than we do. Last week our lesson was on taking care of our world and thinking of not only of other people, but also plants, animals and even little insects. I instructed the children that we were going on a short walk, and once we left the church they were not to speak at all until we got back to the classroom. I asked them to touch whatever I touched as we walked around, and to look, listen and think.

We just went around the block and when we got back I asked them what they saw and if it was good or bad stewardship of God’s world. Some saw healthy plants, flowers and trees. Some saw trash, unkempt lawns and damage to trees. We discussed eating a piece of candy when they are away from home or a trash can. I asked what they do with the wrapper and if they are good stewards. Their perception of their world is very wide as is their perception of right and wrong. It must be amazing to be a teacher and watch young minds at work. When you have a child’s attention and they are very interested, it is a joy to behold.

A good friend and fellow garden club member, Mary Lampe, gave me an article on honeybees. Another good friend and work associate, Dr. Joe Karnitis, is a beekeeper. I have been aware of the problems with honeybees for sometime, mostly from talking to Dr. Karnitis. There are dwindling numbers and it is of great concern to many different groups.

With the increased use of high fructose corn syrup over honey, there are fewer beekeepers. There are 17-20 viruses that effect a bee’s health, and there is a decrease in areas with flowering plants that need pollinating. Bees love dandelions, but humans do not, so we spray them. Dandelions produce lots of pollen that bees use as protein in their diets. Fruit trees also use bees, and bees gather tons of protein from their blossoms. 

If the decline in bees is of concern to you, and it should be even if you’re not a beekeeper, you can do your part by not spraying your lawn to kill the dandelions and by keeping flowering plants that require pollination to produce in your gardens. If beekeeping is interesting to you, most county extension offices offer classes in beekeeping.

I read the article after I had rounded up the dandelions in our lawn. If you ask my husband, he will tell you I dislike dandelions in the lawn. They are beautiful in ditches and fields, but they love to take over a lawn. I think dandelions are one of the few flowers I’m not a fan of. For the sake of the honeybees, I just might change my tune.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.

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