Pollinator happiness

I was taking pictures in the preschool garden the other day and was watching the bees go crazy around the pumpkin blossoms.  They were just so happy.  Then I noticed a few of them looked a little weighted down.  So I got in close and noticed the bees just covered in pollen all over their bodies and weighted down with full pollen sacks.  Check it out!

What happened to that cute little garden???

What happened to that cute little garden you used to take care of Bonnie? The one with all the little hands and feet helping?

Don’t you worry, the little preschool garden is still going strong and we are doing monthly gardening classes.  Let me catch you up…last time we posted was in June about the preschool garden and warm season veggies were sprawling.  July came and we cleaned up and planted our pumpkin patch for fall. 
September started with our wonderful students moving up to their new classes and it was time to come out to the garden.  First order of business?  Sun protection because no one told Mother Nature that September is the time for cooler weather- at least not here in Texas. 

 So my friends and I fashioned some sun hats out of newsprint and got on out to the garden.

  First order of business- observation and exploration.  Those kids wanted to see what was going on since their last visit.  And what in the heck was this vine growing in the veggie garden??  So we talked about how cool pumpkin vines are because they have male and female flowers.  And what they really like is insects who help them pollinate the flowers.  We checked out the female flower with the baby pumpkin on it, just waiting to get pollinated so it can start growing.  

 Here is our trellis, beautifully covered in pumpkin vines  The vines took a late summer beating from the aphids but we just kept giving strong sprays of water to knock them off.  Some vines did have to be sacrificed as aphid food for the greater good.

We got about 5 great big pumpkins, 4 of them growing on the trellis.  Here they are just starting to turn orange.  In fact, one started growing and got caught in between the trellis metal bars so it is now stuck there.  Guess we’ll have to take a hacksaw to that one.  Perfect prep for pumpkin pie??


We left them up and delayed our cool season garden in order to have the pumpkins on the vine for Halloween but this next week they will be harvested for indoor decoration or pie making, whatever the kids want. Then on to greens and all the other good cool season veggies for the kids.