Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Movie for Pollinator Week (3rd week in June)



One aspect of vegetable gardening that sometimes surprises new gardeners is finding out that many insects and other small creatures provide important support to the garden's health and productivity. Most gardeners are not "in it" for the bugs! 

However, as a gardener,  I have learned a whole lot about insects and other critters. Some of these are pretty strange-looking and may seem a bit unlovable, but quite a lot of people appreciate the beauty of butterflies. 

Monarchs Across Georgia, a group that has a mission to study Monarch butterflies and restore butterfly habitat, is hosting a viewing of the Disneynature movie Wings of Life as part of its celebration of National Pollinator Week. The movie, which is rated G, runs 77 minutes.

To defer costs, the group is asking for a donation to the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia (the group's "parent").

The movie will be shown on Saturday, June 25, 11:00 a.m., at the Midtown Art Cinema in Atlanta (931 Monroe Drive, NE, 30308). A theater seat can be reserved online.

The description of the movie included in the ad-copy on the MAG website is this:

Released as part of Walt Disney Studios' Disneynature banner, filmmaker Louis Schwartzberg's documentary employs macrophotography in order to show moviegoers a world they have likely never experienced. The secret lives of bats, butterflies, hummingbirds, and bumblebees come to life before our eyes as Schwatrzberg and his talented team highlight how the determination and interdependence of these diminutive creatures keep our chaotic world in balance.

An Educator's Guide webpage for the movie offers a download-able activity booklet and lessons designed for grades 2-4, and additional film clips are available there, too.  


At the theater, native Georgie milkweeds, the host plants of the Monarch butterfly, will be available for purchase.

See you there?
 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Long, Slow Spring

Into the kitchen...
My garden strawberry plants are almost finished with their production for this year. I will miss the sweet little fruits when they stop coming in, but I chose a "June-bearing" variety on purpose.

In about a week, after the last berries have been picked, I can pull up the bird netting, cut off all the old foliage, remove about half of the old plants, leaving some of the babies that have been sent out on runners, and generally refresh that whole bed.

Then, the only work to be done over the coming year will be a little weeding, amending the soil, and topping off the mulch, until next spring when, once again, I get to harvest big bowls full of berries every day for several weeks.

The end of the strawberries is going to draw a definitive line in the seasons for my yard, with the far side of the line being "summer." Some people might ague that we've had some plenty-hot weather already, but the last of the spring veggies are still producing in my garden.

My strawberry patch.
The potatoes already are out; I dug them up last weekend (and they are glorious!), but the kale is still doing well in the garden, and we have a few more beets. All of that will be pulled this weekend, though, so I can FINALLY plant the last of the peppers and get some okra seeds into the ground.

Meanwhile, I harvested the first zucchini yesterday when I got home from work, and we will have green beans from the garden today. The tomato plants have little green tomatoes coming along, but we won't have ripe tomatoes until early July.


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