Pollinator Week at Irregardless Cafe & The Well Fed Garden

Irregardless Cafe and The Well Fed Community Garden is celebrating Pollinator Week June 19 – 25 with our Blackberry Festival and a Cocktail made with honey at the Cafe’s bar called Summer Buzz made with Troy & Son’s Moonshine, Lavender Bitters from Crude Bitters Raleigh, Cucumbers, Blackberries and Local Honey.

Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what we all can do to protect them! Pollinators are all those bees, wasps, flies, insects, ants, beetles, moths, butterflies – beneficial insects and small mammals like bats and birds… that pollinate and estimated 75% of major food crops. These amazing pollinators are critically important components of our ecosystem – the work of these pollinators ensures full harvest of crops and the health of plants around the world.

The Well Fed Community Garden’s front garden is full of plants that support a myriad number of these ‘amazing expressions of life’ who are vital pollinating agents in the life cycle of all flowering plants. While searching for sustenance from the nectar of flowers, these pollinators gather the flower’s pollen and carries it from one flower to the next of the same species – leading to productive fertilization of each plants.

Beekeeper Alice Hinman 
Photograph by Peter Hoffman

At Irregardless Cafe’s Well Fed Community Garden’s 1st Annual Blackberry Festival this Saturday, June 24 from 4–8 pm, there will be opportunities to meet with the Gardeners to learn about the pollinator flowers in the Garden’s front yard, as well as meeting our Bee Keeper Alice Hinman. Gardeners will also be describing the hydroponic lettuce growing methods, the vegetables growing in the fields and our soil health composting and vermiculture system. A Meredith College Nutrition graduate will also be on hand to talk about the benefits of eating locally grown produce.

Everyone needs to learn about pollinators and how to protect them because their populations are declining rapidly. Especially the bee populations are declining – which it is determined is likely due to agricultural practices that encourage single crops over thousand acre farms that kill all the native flowering plants (often called weeds).

These practices have disturbed and taken away the habitats bees need for foraging and nesting. Poorly managed use of pesticides and herbicides have also contributed to the bees’ vulnerability to diseases and parasites.

For an excellent explanation of this critical decline of the Pollinators, watch the Ted Talk by Dr. Spivak.

We can all be ‘Pollinator Protectors’ by planting lots of flowers that provide nectar and pollen for bees. Its best to plant gardens with large masses of native and non-invasive plants that continuous bloom throughout the growing season. Also ensure that trees and shrubs are around to provide shelter to the bees and do not use of pesticides nor herbicides.  If you would like to join others to protect Pollinators – check out Toxic Free NC’s recent newsletter.