Kopp's Crops is a family-run business specializing in maple syrup, honey and fresh vegetables. We are located 45 miles north of Minneapolis in Bradford Township on our 65 acre farm.

*Now Selling at the Cambridge-Isanti Farmers Market!*

Local Orders: For pickup in Isanti, Cambridge, Brooklyn Park or Arden Hills, please email koppscrops@gmail.com or call 763-772-7057 to place your order and arrange payment & pickup. Available products are listed in the shopping cart below.

Outside the Twin Cities: Please use the online shopping cart below. USPS shipping charges will be calculated at checkout.

For questions, please email us at koppscrops@gmail.com


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Busy Bees in the Garden

We have lots of busy bees in the garden these days (and we don’t just mean our daughters)!  We really mean the bees – our honeybees.  Without them, we wouldn’t have much of a harvest.  You could call them our garden superheroes, born with the power of pollination! 

Almost any plant where the fruit or the seeds are eaten (instead of the leaves or the root) relies on pollination to get the food production ball rolling.  Some vegetables, like tomatoes, beans and peas self-pollinate with a minimum of outside intervention.  They have male and female parts inside the same flower, so the pollen gets where it needs to go within a single bloom.  Corn is pollinated by the wind carrying pollen from the tassels on top down to the silk on an ear of corn.  

Zucchini Blossoms
But vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini and other squash can’t pollinate without insects, often bees.  These vines have separate male and female flowers on each plant, and rely on insects to transfer the pollen from the male flowers to the female ones.  Without ample bees or other insects to do this important job, it’s up to the gardener to hand-pollinate the plants, using a cotton swab to transfer the pollen between blooms.  Frankly, we can think of a lot of things we’d rather be doing than gender-typing blossoms and Q-tipping pollen.  Weeding, getting eaten alive by deer flies, root canal…   

Nationwide, there’s an emerging pollination crisis because the honeybee population has been declining.  Some enterprising folks have built good businesses trucking hives of bees from one commercial crop producer to another through the growing season.  The bees pollinate a few fields before packing up and heading off to the next stop, like a honeybee midway carnival.  Maybe that’s what we’ll do when we retire.  If you see an RV pulling a trailer full of beehives in a few years, give a wave – it could be the Kopp’s Crops Honeybee Carnival Caravan!