At April Joy Farm, there is one tireless class of workers to whom we owe a special debt of gratitude. Our pollinators are miracle workers! According to the Xerces Society, there are approximately 4,000 species of native bees in the U.S., enough to pollinate many of our agricultural crops IF nearby natural habitat is left intact. For example, native pollinators have been shown to triple the production of cherry tomatoes in California. Likewise, a Xerces Fact Sheet on Native Pollinators states, “In the absence of rented honey bees, canola growers in Alberta, Canada, make more money from their fields if 30 percent of the land is left in natural habitat, rather than planting it all. This natural habitat supports populations of native bees close to fields and increases bee visits and seed set in adjacent crops.” At April Joy Farm Farm, we purposefully leave lanes unmowed, put up nesting sites in our vineyard, avoid disturbing adjacent canyon habitat, and safeguard native plants that bloom early and late in the season to provide the very best working conditions a pollinator could hope for.
It’s our way of paying good wages for good work, so to speak.