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.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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