Farm School students recently explored the impacts of climate change to pollinators at the Carbon Sink Demonstration Project. Check out what they learned in this guest post from Ellee Igoe - co-manager of Solidarity Farm.
Inspiring young people to take interest and responsibility for our world is a central goal of the Carbon Sink Demonstration Farm, a project of our partners at the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians and Solidarity Farm.
Bees were the focus of Solidarity Farm's "Farm School" and children ages 3 to 13 were busy constructing native bee houses, planting flowers for pollinators, and observing hives. Students were shocked to learn that to create a single pound of honey, bees must fly the equivalent of 3 times around the Earth and that three out of four agricultural crops are dependent upon pollinators. Students were also concerned to learn that climate change is likely to cause flowers to bloom earlier in the spring, creating a potential mismatch in seasonal timing between when flowers produce pollen and when bees are ready to feed on that pollen. Even a small mismatch of three to six days could negatively affect bees’ health, making them less likely to reproduce, and more susceptible to predators and parasites. As Bailey, age 9, put it, "we need people to make the connection between climate change and pollination. If we lose pollinators, we lose our dinner!"
Farm School students will be taking what they learned and designing signage for the Carbon Sink Walking Trail which will circumnavigate the 87-acre farm and introduce visitors to the connections between climate change and our food system.
This guest post is brought to you by Ellee Igoe of Solidarity Farm. In collaboration with Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians and Solidarity Farm, the Carbon Sink Demonstration Project is working to help demonstrate how carbon sink farming practices can be applied under Southern California conditions to benefit farmers and support climate mitigation and resilience efforts.
This demonstration project is made possible by our primary supporter, the California Coastal Conservancy.