Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October Festivals

October is the time of the year that people celebrate the harvest, and fall festivals are being conducted in many communities. Farmers markets are winding down for the season as summer time crops stop producing. The favorite summer vegetables are becoming harder to find. The fruits of the gourd family are plentiful now. Local growers are bringing decorative gourds, yellow squash, butternut squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins to the farmers markets. The gourds are dependent upon insects for pollination. Without pollination no fruit or seed is produced. With honey bees and native pollinators declining in numbers, growers in some areas have experienced diminished yields and misshapen fruit.

There has been plenty of activity at Peace Bee Farm. Saturday found Tod and Wes selling honey and bee hive products at the Memphis Farmers Market. Christina and Rita were selling our products at the Crawfordsville, Arkansas Fall Festival. The festival brings quite a number of people to this town with a population of 606. Grandson, Ethan, was helping me extract Delta cotton honey in the honey house when we got a call from Rita saying they needed more honey and warm clothes on this chilly fall day. In the photo, Ethan carries a duffel bag full of sweat shirts to our family and our friends manning adjacent booths at Crawfordsville. The cool weather with plenty of rain is producing a good stand of purple top turnips here at Peace Farm. We will enjoy the greens and turnips throughout the fall and winter, and then we will let the plants bloom and produce seed in the spring while feeding our bees. Turnips are in the important bee plant family, the mustards. I think these cool days call for some cotton honey over some hot, buttered sourdough pancakes. I still have some McCarter’s coffee with chicory to go with this tasty meal. The ground chicory root comes from another important bee plant family, the composites. Thank you, honey bees.

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