The Pollinators That Could
Images & words by Jay Wen
How do plants grow?
Seems like a relatively simple question and even more simple answer. Sun and water, right? Yes, every plant needs photosynthesis to grow which is when the plant turns the sun into energy and they get thirsty... but there is something else. The little (extremely important) moments in between is when the magic happens.
The magic is delivered by pollination. Pollination can happen in a few different ways. Self pollination by plant, cross pollination from same species of plant or different species, the wind, and busy little pollinators that include animals and insects such as birds, bees, bats, butterflies, moths, beetles and more.
The plant grows from seed, then it begins to grow leaves and roots, when it reaches maturity it flowers, then pollinators do their job, the plant goes to seed thus beginning a new cycle of life for the next growing season.
It's these quiet but tireless pollinators going from plant to plant that provides us with fruit, vegetables, beverages, spices and more that we enjoy.
Unfortunately the pollinators' numbers across the board have been decreasing due to lost of habitat and chemical misuse.
There are ways we can help to protect them by cultivating native plants. Native plants are easier maintence since it is conditioned for its own designated area, it needs less or no pesticides because it is inheritly immune to diseases in that specific area.
Plant things! Flowers, vegetables, herbs, anything! Create little havens for these pollinators to feed and at the same time help the plants thrive.
While planting edibles, sometimes there are pest problems but there are different ways to tackle them using non-pesticidal methods. It just takes a little patience and a little research... sometimes these methods may not even require you to buy anything - it could be as easy as planting a companion plant that helps the plants grow as well as keep pests away (more on companion plants in the future!).
Everything comes around full circle. A general rule of thumb is don't use anything on the plants or insects that you wouldn't want to use or put into your own body.