I am a Farmer, by choice (lol). It started in 2019 around my 35th Milestone Birthday when we received our first chickens. Fourteen of them, to be exact! Go big or go home right!! We had just moved into our sorta "tiny home" that we renovated with 2 acres of land that used to be an old Tobacco farm from the 1800s.
Truly what a way to pay homage to my ancestors who used to work the farmland; this used to be a slave plantation called Mount Clare/ Charles Branch with Large slave holdings. We renamed it Curemore Farms. Eerie is just typing this. I know I'm making my ancestors who worked this land as slaves proud because black farmers now own it.
It has been the best decision because it provides me so much joy. My chickens, along with my dogs, are so therapeutic. We have conversations all the time; they cluck, gobble and cockadoodle doo in response to my "Good morning, ladies and gentlemen." It's a great way to forget I have MBC.
Well, over the last few years, our farm has grown. We started with chickens, and then we got more of a demand for eggs, bought ducks, then bought turkeys and bees!! In 2020 we got our first honey, but our first winter of 2020 was brutally cold and killed our hives. No worries, My bee club told me it's completely normal. So we bought six hives to replace the loss, and we will make sure we double insulate the bees boxes.
As I learn about these farmer ways, I can have my bees because it helps pollinate my crops to grow into these beautiful yummy, and sometimes ugly vegetables. Grocery stores always sell well-shaped fruits and veggies. You know they waste the so-called "ugly" fruit and veggies. They taste the same, but society's regulations on aesthetics are not considered beautiful enough. I mean, I thought beauty was the eye of the beholder.
We as people are not perfect; why do fruits and vegetables need to be?
Let's talk about pollination and how important it is to our environment.
Who are the pollinators:
This list is pretty cool, right. Who knew? Bats were the most surprising for me because that means pollination happens 24hrs of the day!!
Pollination: The act of a pollinator transferring pollen grains from a male flower to a female flower. Flowers function almost like the human reproductive system. All fruits and vegetables start as flowers and once pollinated, now they can grow their little "baby." This "baby aka fruit or vegetable" may not always come out cute, but it's a beautiful process.
Pollination artificial insemination aka self-pollination: This can be done manually, but honestly, who has the time and energy to do it, but since the bees are trying to go extinct, some farmers/gardeners have to self pollinate, meaning we take the male flower and brush it against the other flowers so the pollen grains can touch to start the growing process.
Why Pollinate: Somewhere between 75% and 95% of all flowering plants on the earth need help with pollination – they need pollinators. Pollinators provide pollination services to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1200 crops. That means that 1 out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators.
Monarch butterflies have declined by 90% in the last 20 years.25% of bumblebee species are thought to be in severe decline. If you want to help, grow a small garden specifically to attract pollinators. Don't kill the pollinators. You can, no matter where you live. I lived in Alaska and was able to grow tomatoes, zucchini, and squash. So no excuses.
Let's keep the pollination going to have our fruits and vegetables that help with cancer-fighting properties such as beta carotene and boost our immune system.
The most powerful message of all, Eat those "ugly" fruits and veggies. Honestly, if I'm at a farmers market and don't see the misshapen fruits and vegetables, I get skeptical that it came from their farm. Here are some images of the ugly fruits and veggies I grew with love.