It was Earth Day this week and tonight I will be at our local coffee shop and the topic is bird friendly coffee. The coffee roaster will talk about making coffee growing more sustainable for birds.
In Latin America, coffee is heavily sprayed and fertilized with synthetic fertilizers. Sprawling massive fields stretch out for miles. While this created high coffee yields it was also devastated the environment and wildlife. Returning to organic methods and going coffee in concert with a rainforest canopy have resulted in beans with a deeper and richer flavour.
And how does my Grimsby garden relate to coffee growing? The answer is simple: many of the birds who live in Latin America in the winter are migratory, so live here in the summer. These include orioles, tanagers, and warblers. What about hummingbirds? The Indigo bunting?
The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in Washington, D.C has identified ecologically sustainable farming methods that provide a welcome habitat for birds. They developed certification standards for making bird-friendly coffee. One can differentiate between shade-grown, organic, fair-trade and bird-friendly.
So back to our gardens in Grimsby where the hummingbirds, Baltimore Orioles and small warblers made their home in summer. Our job is to grow native trees and plants, so that they have the insects to feed their young.
Here's the handout on what trees and flowers to grow here in Ontario, along with sources of information.
I've been watching for this little flower to bloom in my garden. It's Bloodroot and will bloom for only a day.
Please consider coming to the meet and greet this Sunday in Hamilton - the address is corrected from an earlier invitation - it is on Dundurn St. S.