Bee sustainable.

Growing up in the 1960s I was every bit the city girl. I didn’t belong to 4-H and farming was not in my future. In college we all read “Silent Spring” and “Diet for a Small Planet“. We wouldn’t have described ourselves as environmentalists although looking back, both books projected a tone of concern for the environment. And sustainability was certainly not in our vocabulary. At least not in 1978.

Over the years I have had small gardens, usually not successful. It is only in the last 5 years or so that I learned about nematodes in the Florida soil. Many things I have planted in pots or containers because one of my dogs likes to lie in turned over dirt or fresh mulch, thereby squashing all of my hard work.

Now I have Earth Boxes and if I time my planting right, we actually get peppers and green beans. Right now I have pineapples and so-called “heat-tolerant” tomato plants in the boxes, and have started pumpkin and zucchini seeds in pots. With any luck I will be picking bananas this fall; tomatoes will be ripening in November; I will have lemons in December and tangerines in January; I will be picking strawberries in February and blueberries/blackberries in April/May. Wow! When I see this in writing I am really impressed with myself!DSCF0041

I am sure that you have heard the advice on ” sustainability” like buy seasonal and local. But there are other things that we can do that have an impact as well. I collect rain water in a barrel to use on my plants and flowers. Last year when my daughter moved home from college we started composting and kicked our recycling up a notch.

In the spring of 2013, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics adopted Sustainable agriculture as a solution to food insecurity for a mega issue. You don’t have to be a farmer to support sustainable farming. I am helping the Florida farmer by raising bees; that’s right–bees!

Most crops depend upon bee pollination so you can thank a bee for every third bite of delicious produce that you enjoy. But since about 1988 there has been a marked shortage of bees caused by “Bee Colony Collapse Disorder“. The exact cause of the disorder is still up for debate but it could be a result of pesticide use, viruses, cell phone towers or a combination of factors. Bees are responsible for crop yield along with temperature, sun and rain and by the year 2050 the world’s population will be 9 billion.

DSCF0102DSCF0096.                                                                                                                                                                Not only are my plants benefiting but so are local farmers.

What are you doing to alleviate food insecurity or promote sustainable agriculture?

Post by Nadine

About nadineandadamblog

Nadine and Adam are mother and son. Nadine lives in Florida where she has provided outpatient MNT in a large healthsystem for the past 20 years. In addition, she teaches nutrition to second and third year family medicine residents. She is a past-spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Adam lives in Washington State. His career has largely been involved in recipe development and food production. He is currently developing recipes and menus for the Seattle schools to meet the new federal guidelines for school nutrition programs and he does outpatient nutrition counseling. He is also a voice in PSAs over Seattle radio representing the Washington Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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