Green

Growing Diversity

Member in the Gardens

Walking up to the garden plots early in the morning, before many others are up in the community, and finding other gardeners quietly enjoying the fresh morning in their gardens gives me much pleasure.

Some gardeners have had their plots offering up bounties of vegetables, fruits and/or flowers and herbs for many, many years while some of our newest members have been out in the spring, creating their own special place in our community garden.

We each have our own way of preparing the soil, planting, protecting the young plants, watering and nurturing our gardens.

I like how this shows our different personalities and the way we were shown. New gardeners are learning some old tricks from practiced folks and we all work to keep our plants healthy without using harmful pesticides. This is just another way that Beaver Creekers can stay near to nature and grow some tasty food.

Bugs of Beaver Creek: Stink Bugs

Stink Bug

Though people commonly refer to all insects as bugs, entomologically the term is reserved for a specific group of insects called “true bugs”. These insects have characteristic needle-like mouthparts that stab and suck the liquefied contents from other organisms like a straw. They form a large order of insects called Hemiptera, which includes a particularly pungent bunch of bugs:

Stink Bugs

Coming in a range of colours and patterns, the shield-shaped stink bugs can be quite an attractive lot of insects. Unfortunately for us (but fortunately for them), they stink!

Bugs of Beaver Creek: Ants

Ant

I use the term “bugs” in the title to encompass all insects, arachnids, and other non-insect arthropods. Bugs pollinate our plants, mix and aerate our soil, dispose of carrion and dung, feed on pests and provide food for other life forms. In return, many of us fear them, swat or squish them, spray them with poisons, or at best ignore them. It must be said that we depend upon bugs far more than they depend on us. Indeed, if they were to suddenly disappear it is doubtful whether the human species would be able to survive as we do, if at all.

There is a group of insects that has colonized almost every terrestrial habitat on the planet, and consequently there are a lot of them here at Beaver Creek. They were the first insect I sighted this spring and are fascinating animals if you take a closer look:

Help restore Laurel Creek forest on Earth Day

Earth Day Canada

The tenth Sunoco Earth Day will be held on April 19, 2008 at the GRCA conservation area on Westmount Road just off Northfield Drive in Waterloo. The event, sponsored by Sunoco and the Suncor Energy Foundation, runs from 10am to 1pm and is free. Beaver Creek's Green Committee is organizing members who are interested in attending and participating as a group.

Trees and shovels will be provided to those who want to help plant 1,000 native trees such as white pine, sugar maple and red oak. They will replace some of the two hectares worth of red pines which had to be removed last fall because of an infestation of pine shoot beetles.

Roll your own

Roll your own

Members and their families were able to roll their own beeswax candles, which were later lit for a community walk and storytelling.

A little help

A little help

Community teens volunteered to provide instructions and some extra help making the beeswax candles.

Lights in the dark.

Lights in the dark.

Near the end of the community walk, the candles light the way.

Story Teller

Story Teller

The story teller captivates his audience of members and their families with his humorous tales.