sustainability


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Summer seems
so quiet.
The breeze has calmed,
catching the wind chime only
now and then
instead of constantly.
Birds chirp
rather than sing.
There is quite a lot of silent
motion: butterflies, wasps, dragonflies flit.
Now a hen lets out a string
of cackles,
then
there is a hush
before the breeze stirs
and chimes ring
again—
a guinea
squawks.
Cicadeas’ sizzle
starts. A rooster
out back
crows.
But even the sounds—
the chirps,
the squawks,
the chimes,
the cicadeas—
seem quiet.

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Evening is quieter
still. Air hangs
thickly.
Motionless, silent cranes
fish.
An orb spinner is so still
I bash into its web reaching
for a tomato.
In the night,
fireflies glow greenish yellow
all around the yard,
in trees. Stars keep company
in silence.
Where is that
mockingbird and why has he stopped
singing all night?

 

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Our July-August Newsletter
Summer (Sorta) at Turtle Rock Farm

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Ann’s garden in the high tunnel
has so far escaped grasshopper
devastation.
A few grasshoppers have found the plants—
big yellow ones fling themselves
from leaves—but
the invasion has not reached a critical
point.
So we are enjoying tomatoes, chard, basil,
cucumbers, eggplant, peppers…

We know from friends who are the most successful
organic gardeners
we know
that grasshoppers are not only destroying the plants
but are also eating the row covers
covering the plants to protect them
from grasshoppers.

This is the third year of our grasshopper
devastation. This is a cool, wet summer; and
we thought they thrived in a dry and hot
habitat!
Turns out, as weather changes,
due to climate change
due to global warming,
the grasshoppers are an indicator species
for scientists. And turns out,
grasshoppers develop better in
warmer temperatures. And,
there are grasshoppers
who like cool-weather climates. And,
because weather is changing,
grasshoppers are re-distributing. They’re
on the move—and longer summers,
give them that opportunity. We might have
cool-weather grasshoppers
this year!

So…It’s not simply the giant devastating events—
fires, floods, extreme storms—
that point to the impact of changes in climate;
these masses of chomping, flingy
insects do too.
One benefit of grasshoppers
in the prairie ecosystem:
more food for birds.
So, while humans have to figure out
how to grow food in changing conditions—
why aren’t we in the U.S. cooking those grasshoppers?!—
people in other cultures love them—
the prairie birds are happy.
Yay! More birds!

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