The Market this week: Honey and the MSO

IMG_7652We have a special guest this week at the market, the Melrose Symphony Orchestra (MS0), promoting their free outdoor POP concert on September 9th. Barring good weather, the MSO will perform a trio from 2-4pm and 6-7pm, as well as an instrument ‘petting zoo’.

Our farms have amazing produce this week. Corn, tomatoes, and peaches/nectarines were absolutely delicious last week, so expect the same or better!  The musician from 4-6pm is the Bohemians, a group of Melrosians who drink coffee at The Bohemian and play a mix of Americana, blues, rock, and pop songs. All our music is generously funded by the Melrose Messina Fund for the Art (MMFA).

Did you know we have local honey? Susie’s brings honey from her garden every week, as well as delicious jams and herbs. Below is an article written by Christy Erickson, a local resident and bee advocate from

Please support your local farmers market and buy local and often! See you this week!

Valuing Nature’s Cross Pollinators

It often goes unnoticed – the hard work of nature’s cross-pollinators. Although we are aware of the bees and butterflies gliding from flower to flower and the humming birds and bats doing the same, most of us are ignorant to the importance of their show. Most of us do not know that because these creatures pollinate, crops and flowers grow, which supplies us with food and balances the eco-system. Thus, because of our ignorance, there has been a negative change; our pollinators are disappearing. But there is hope.

How does Cross Pollination Work:

The flowers that depend on cross-pollination usually are the brightly colored and sweet-smelling bunch such as lavender, blanket flowers, sage, yarrow, strawberry, kiwi, tangerine, cucumber, apple, and beets. When insects and animals visit flowers to drink the nectar, they pick up pollen from one bud and transfer it to the stigma of another bud of the same species. This seemingly insignificant process then influences the growth of a new plant or crop.

Nature’s Top Pollinators:

  • Bees
  • Hummingbirds
  • Butterflies
  • Bats
  • Beetles
  • Moths
  • Ants
  • Wasps

Why are the Pollinators Disappearing:

While there has been a decline in a lot of the pollinating creatures, bees, our best pollinator has seen the biggest drop in numbers. Both domesticated and wild species of bees have been disappearing in large numbers all over the world. Their decline so drastic that it started to affect the eco system as well as the food industry. After extensive research, it had been determined that widespread use of pesticides, habitat loss, climate change and disease are largely to blame for their die-off. As devastating as it is to think that we are unintentionally hurting our helpers, the good news is, now that we know what’s causing their disappearance, we can now take steps to help them return.

How can we Help:

Stop using pesticides: The overall goal is to get chemical based pesticides off the market. We can all do our part by banning them from our homes, there are plant-based alternatives available that are just as effective and gentler on the pollinators and the environment.

Start a pollinator garden: Anyone in any sized dwelling can start a pollinator garden as not much space is needed. Containers on a deck will do as will flowers on a windowsill or a patch in the backyard. To get started, nourished soil is needed and indigenous seeds that will flourish. And, of course, plant based pesticides and fertilizers to treat the crops.

Don’t kill the bees: Unfortunately, it has become almost second nature to swat at bees if they get too close. However, bees only attack if they feel threatened, so if we leave them alone, they will do the same.

Advocate for pollinators: Advocating for pollinators includes spreading the word on their importance and letting people know that they are endangered. Starting or joining groups that actively support bees and other pollinators can also make a big difference.

Be greener: Being Greener can curb CO2 emissions which contributes to climate change. By driving less; carpooling, taking public transportation, walking, or biking we can cut down on those emissions. Keeping indoor plants can cleanse the quality of the air and so can ditching harsh chemicals like bug sprays, air fresheners, and household cleaners. Conserving resources such as electricity and water and recycling everything so that it doesn’t degrade in the landfills can lessen our footprint.

Support organic farmers: Organic farmers work with the pollinators instead of against them, therefore, supporting them will, in turn, keep the pollinator numbers on the rise.

Create habitat: Leave an untouched, desolated patch of wildflowers and bee houses in the backyard for solitary bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies to visit.

If our pollinators continue to go down, life as we know it will soon follow. Therefore, it is our duty to value nature’s pollinators.