Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Masters and Keepers (The Beauty and Necessity of Bud+Bee+You+Me)

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made
and forgot to put a soul into.
-Henry Ward Beecher 

We had to chase the Master Gardeners out of my beekeeper's association meeting last night so we could begin on time. The Masters (as I call them)- revered, wise, and weathered- are a motley crew of wrinkled old ladies, sun-beaten old men, and the odd, fresh-faced hipster. I'm in awe of them. They know Latin names for everything and there's nothing they haven't seen.

The Masters line up their latest obsessions in our shared gardening/beekeeping room. (The Masters and the Keepers- as beekeepers are called- are graciously respectful of each other.) The Masters also keep wild-looking, experimental plants under sagging, beaming grow lights in the corner of our room. There are new specimens every month: in January and February there are yellow and white bulbs nodding in test tubes and expertly labeled. March through May ushers in seedlings of all kinds: tomatoes, peppers, squash, and melons. Along June until October, herbs and grasses and so.many.flowers and every vegetable God gave a seed sprawl into the room. November and December roll around and they've vased up Henbit or Camellias or Red Maples. I'm fascinated, always.

Even if you've never given a solitary thought to flowers and bees, both are necessary for your life as you know it. Truly. Buds and blooms provide carbohydrates (nectar) and protein (pollen) for the bees. With it, they make food (honey) to sustain their colony. In doing so, they pollinate roughly one out of every three foods you'll eat today... and many of the wild plants you'll never give a thought to today. The bud-bee-you-me relationship is beautifully symbiotic. God may not have put a soul in flowers or bees, but He did intersect them with ours.

It occurred to me last night, while looking carefully around the room of Masters and Keepers, that these people are the unsung heroes of life as we've come to know it. Forget the athletes and crooners and celebrities. These people, with their borage and bent backs and bee suits, these people are changing the world. While the Masters plant and prune and pull nourishing plants, the Keepers breed and box and bolster the languishing bee. Together, they are fighting a tidal wave of chemicals and disease and urbanization and every dreaded and terrible thing man is doing to kill-off nature and wellness.

God help and bless the Masters and Keepers....

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Yesterday's bee meeting and this morning's Floret Flowers announcement prompted the writing of this intro to a manifesto. (Forgive me.) Want to support or join the Masters/Keepers? Start by planting some bee-friendly seeds this year- in a pot, in a bed or garden, or in a vacant lot. Floret's now selling their beautiful seeds, and, of course, I'm an occasional visitor and longtime fan of Wildseed Farms. Their regional wildflower mixes are perfection. I beg you: plant something, feed a bee, and do what you can this year to support our unsung heroes.


Rosa said...

I just saw Floret's beautiful seed offerings today! My budget's tiny this year so I'm going to be doing a lot of dreaming before I have to make the sensible choices.
I'm a Master Gardener up on the Canadian prairies. I'd like to pretend I'm one of the fresh-faced hipster variety but . . . I'm afraid the other description is a lot more accurate. ;D If it was legal to keep bees in my city I'd be a Keeper too! I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences.

Debra said...

Hi Brin! What a delight to hear from you yesterday at my blog. And I'm so happy that you enjoyed my header. Feel free to sit out there anytime and for as long as you like. :) Actually, that was an area behind our barn where we lived for three years and probably my favorite place on our 4 acres. If you'd like to see more, you can check out my photo blog of our former farm here:


Thank-you for sharing flowers with us today! They're much warmer, lovelier, than the snow outside my windows this cold morning. :) Blessings, Debra

Adrienne said...

You captured my heart with the Daffodils! My little vintage trailer is named Daffodil - because there have been two times in my life that God sent Daffodils (by the armload) through friends who didn't know they are my favorites. Both times only God knew that my heart was sagging and desperately needed to be picked up. I deeply admire flower keepers and bee keepers. Such important tasks. Loved reading you words once again.