Agriculture Center buzzes with new pollinator garden

Published 8:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2022

Bees — whether you love them or hate them, these mini pollinators help us grow much of the food we eat. According to the USDA, without the pollination from bees, fruit, vegetables, hay and even cotton would be hard to grow.

On Tuesday, the UGA Troup County Extension’s pollinator garden— the county’s invitation to bees — hit full bloom. Recently, Two Rivers Resource Conservation and Development Council helped the extension office install six raised-bed pollinator gardens on the grounds of the Troup County Agricultural Education Center.

The gardens work as a way to provide essential habitats for bees, butterflies, moths and other pollinators, who support the biological diversity in the environment. The goal of the pollinator garden is to educate the community about pollinators and the benefits of them.

In August, the Troup County Extension plans to do a pollinator census.

“The pollinator census will tell us which type of pollinators we are attracting to this garden and why they’ve been attracted us,” said Deborah Xavier-Mis, ANR Agent for the Extension Office. “We’re going to compare this information with other information around the state of Georgia, so we can find out what we have that’s unique to Troup County, what we are lacking, and what we could do better.”

In mid-May, the garden was possible due to grants from the Two Rivers Resource Conservation and Development Council and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The grants provided all the materials, the soil, and the seeds, she said.

The main idea behind the pollinator garden comes from the education and preservation of natural resources in local communities.

“Without pollinators, we wouldn’t be able to eat,” Xavier-Mis said. “There is research done that says one in every four of foods that you eat or drink is delivered by pollinators.”

Through the use of the garden, Xavier-Mis seeks to educate and make people aware of the importance of pollinators and their environmental benefits.

“Our goal is to bring that information and show them how pollinators are beneficial to us,” she said. “I educate farmers, homeowners, gardeners on when they should spray pesticide, so they are preserving the pollinators because they ultimately need them to produce vegetables and fruits.”

Xavier-Mis hopes that with pollinator gardens in full bloom, the community and local 4H clubs can come together to help preserve pollinators and educate themselves and others on effective substantiality and conservation.