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Garden Seeds, Honeybees, You and Me by Trendle Ellwood

continued from page three

I wonder if we will listen to the message from the honeybee?  Can we switch jobs if necessary?  Can we sow seeds for the future while our society dies around us?  If it had not come out in the news that the bees might not survive, and if they didn’t, neither would we; nobody would care about the bees vanishing.  We humans are selfish.  We have become so individual in the western world, caring only for our own, that it is hard for us to imagine that the whole earth is related and what happens to the honeybee, or any other living creature, is also happening to you and me. 


I like the way Kirk Webster put it in the April 09, issue of American Bee Journal: “Our current wasteful, greedy and destructive system of agriculture doesn’t have a billy goat’s chance in hell of producing food for our people 100 years from now.  In fact, it remains to be seen whether it will still function 10 years from now.  In all the discussions and arguments about what we must do to prepare for the future, there is one thing we all must agree on: In North America, at least, and for a long list of good reasons, we need more Farmers…” 


When Webster says that we need more farmers he is not talking about huge mono- culture, industrial farms, he is talking about small family farms, “when farms were smaller, almost all of them had crops, livestock, pasture, fencerows and woodlots.  A varied landscape with plenty of good food for bees year-round, and much greater possibilities for beauty and human communities than the vast mono-crops of corn and soybeans offer today.”  Kirk Webster 


“He who sees things from the beginning will have the best view of them.” Aristotle 


It is the environmentally aware teacher at the local school, it is the downtown community garden group and it is us, the small gardeners and homesteaders all over the country with garden plots that are needed now.  The accumulated effect of all of our sprouting will be a more lush terrain for the honeybees and the butterflies, providing all of us with an uncontaminated and diverse diet when we can no longer afford to munch on fast food. 


The explosion of neighborhood and backyard gardens implies that, yes, we are listening to nature and opening to community.  We might not be able to change the economy or hide from the meltdown of a corrupt society, but we can change our own little corner of the world with a little exercise, planning, and a splattering of seed packets, which are cheap enough.


Small time gardening brings a person into direct contact with nature.  In the garden there is a natural order to things that eventually puts you at ease.  As the soil crumbles through your fingers and the rain and the sun and the creator of it all walks through the seasons with you, and your crops grow, nature begins to speak to you and to touch her lessons to your heart.  Such as, there is always sun after rain, and spring always follows winter. 



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