Kris and I have been talking a lot about pollinators to anyone who will listen. Yesterday that resulted in an interview with local NPR…a story about bats! They do not function as pollinators around here (they do in the SW US) but they provide other ecosystem services…like eating 600 bugs an hour! They’re threatened by a fungus and their numbers are way down. The bees are back this season, but not in typical numbers. Only a few Monarch Butterflies so far, but we’ve got lots of Asclepius for them when they arrive!
I go to the giant Cultivate trade show in Columbus each July. It used to be the ‘OFA Show’. Now it is run by AmericanHort and has a new name. We try to offer the newest and best varieties of annuals for our garden center and this show is where we learn about them and see them. Last year I was a Tour Bus Captain for activities associated with ‘Cultivate’. This year I’ll be moderating a session on Saturday July 12 with Kelli Roda, from the NMPro magazine group. I hope to see you there!
Yesterday I attended a meeting of the Agribusiness Committee of Lake County Development Council, a great group! Over the past five years this group has orchestrated economic surveys for our grape industry, nursery industry and traditional agriculture. A seminal Cost of Community Services study was completed and published. The next step is a formal ‘Retention and Development’ project for Agriculture in Lake County. This will be facilitated by Lake Soil & Water Conservation District and OSU-Extension. This is a small committee with virtually no budget but they get great things done, usually through great partners like Lake S&W!
Everyone should know by now that Kevin Thompson resigned a couple months ago as Executive Director of ONLA. I won’t go into the political kurfuffle that led to his exit. I just want to say that I enjoyed working with Kevin and appreciate his many visits to Lake County. Last summer I got to meet his great wife at an Ag event at the Governor’s Mansion near Columbus. He introduced me to the ODA Director and other major players. We shared many fun times (like the evening at Debonne Winery where we discovered a mutual affinity for their ‘chambourcin’) and great conversations. I wish him well!