I was asked by a community member what my favorite task in this community is and answered harvests in the garden. I've been balancing my nutrition; garden salad and fruit (vitamins), as well as soybeans (proteins) and bread (carbs). I was a lead cook Tuesday where I cooked tempeh, eggs, tuna, yams, and assorted garden greens, as well as 16 pounds of LSC picked cherries.
We inspected and learned about Mason Bees, a solitary bee that is an effective pollinator, through a look at the mud and bee larva in Brent's bee hives and through a permaculture video.
I was called the next day to help Brent neutralize a wasp threat under a neighbor's porch. We collected it like with the bees, shoveling it into a bucket, and then suffocating the bees with alcohol. I felt morally unjust about killing all of them, but feel that it was probably more natural than using a chemical wasp spray.
I supplied rebar for the interns to setup the bean trellises to contain them as the beans as they grow. They are a pain to carry because they will slip off carts but are long to carry by hand. It was a good workout for the back and arms though, to what a community member calls the “Garden Gym”.
Perhaps wasps don't have any use for me, but maybe they serve an important ecological role for being a predator or prey of a certain species. As Emerson said, “'What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.' However, I was wearing a bee suit because if I was not, the wasps would do the opposite to me, and that's a question I face. If only I could conduct photosynthesis, getting energy from the sun and eliminating the moral dilemma.
Garden bloggers are community members, volunteers and interns at Songaia.