April 2, 2014
Draping over the corner of the orchard is a giant weeping willow. It was in full bloom during the March 16 work party, with innumerable sparkling yellow catkins. The willow is an important source of pollen for bees because it blooms early in the year. The Temperate Climate Permaculture website has all you want to know about this valuable plant that offers many products and services.
Meet Kimberly Christensen, a friend of the orchard and a friend of the bees! Kimberly recently won a grant award from Waste Management Think Green for adding pollinator pathways to the orchard site. Kimberly has been inspired by The Pollinator Pathway Project.
She is busy scouting out different sources for good pollinator plants. During the work party, she planted 6 Ribes (flowering currants), 10 Fragaria (native strawberries) and 10 Kinnikinnick and seeded Phacelia. You will notice her fine work in the middle of the orchard near the blueberries. While we wait for those plants to grow, the bees can hover over the delicate species tulips.
You will also notice that we are digging into the task of clearing more blackberries. We are working on the big patch to make way for more plants and a tool shed.
We can really use your help during the next four work parties. We have light tasks and harder tasks. We provide tools but a large garden fork is very helpful. Thanks to Nancy H, we will host EPA volunteers on Friday, April 18, in celebration of Earth Day. All events are listed on the calendar page. Contribute some time now while the ground is soft and your reward will be time off in the summer!
By the way, I have not had any bites on the treats offered at work parties. What do I need to bring? M&Ms? Maybe one of you has a better idea.
Also, we are looking for an experienced green builder who would oversee the design of a tool shed of mostly recycled materials. WSDOT mandates special requirements so this builder needs to be open-minded and courageous!
A big thank you to Nancy M, Dana S, and Michelle P for recent grant application efforts!