Larch and Kingfishers Classes

Durleighmarsh Farm

This morning we took a trip to visit Alison at Durleighmarsh Farm. We wanted to find out from Alison how important Bees and Butterflies were to the farm in growing the crops. Alison told us that Butterflies were not helpful at all! They just lay eggs that turn in to caterpillars and then they eat the plants. Alison also showed us the crops that are coming in to flower. The plants use their flowers to attract Bees. The Bees that have dry legs are very useful for ‘pollination’ . This is because they collect their nectar, making visits from plant to plant, and are able to dust off the pollen from their legs.  Alison told us how another insect that is very useful, is the ladybird. Alison said that the ladybirds like to eat the aphids (a pest to plants) and that the ladybird are a good friend to the gardener and farmer!

Alison also showed us how the asparagus grows. In warm weather, the asparagus shoots up for harvesting in 1 day! The harvest time for asparagus is just a few weeks. Alison showed us the rhubarb and how to pick it. She let us have a go for ourselves. We took the rhubarb back to school and stewed it with some sugar to taste what it was like. I thought it tasted delicious! Some of us were not so keen…

After we had walked around the farm with Alison, we spotted a scientist who is busy researching which insects  like to visit Durleighmarsh Farm. He was called an ‘Entomologist’. He told us that the bees Alison should encourage to visit the farm are the ‘Miner Bees’. These bees have dry hairy legs that are able to dust off the pollen from their legs on to other plants. The Bumble Bee are good at making honey but tend to get the pollen stuck to their bodies and it is not easy to dust off. So those bees are not as helpful in pollination as the Miner bees. A lot of the plants Alison showed us, such as the strawberry plant, are blooming with flowers. These flowers will soon grow in to fruits on the plants, with the help of the Bees. Yum! Yum!

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