MACON, Ga. — Some people may find pollen accumulating on cars, the ground, and in the air a nuisance. Some farmers, however, say we wouldn't have some of the food we eat without pollen.
Julia Asherman has owned Rag and Frass Farm for about seven years. She's says pollen is a key ingredient for the produce she grows.
"We just wouldn't be able to grow fruits or vegetables without pollen. We wouldn't even be able to farm," said Asherman.
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She grows okra, tomatoes, and peppers. They all require it in their growth process. Asherman says even though they grow mostly fruits and vegetables on the organic farm, they also sell seeds from plants like the collards. It wouldn't be possible to sell those seeds to farmers and other companies without pollen.
"We're not harvesting the leaf to eat, we're letting it flower and letting it pollinate with bees," said Asherman.
Asherman says without bees, farmers would have to hand pollinate every squash and cucumber.
"Different species have different ways that they've evolved to pollinate. Corn is wind pollinated, so it doesn't really rely on a pollinator at all," said Asherman.
Now, the pollen you see on the ground and on cars most likely comes from trees. Asherman says fruits like strawberries make their own pollen to grow.
"I know that it may be inconvenient to have to dust all of your things and wash your car, but I think it's just a friendly reminder of spring and good things come after pollen," said Asherman.
Asherman says there are several different types of pollen that could be floating in the air, but still in some way, it helps the crops growing on different farms.
Brandon Crumsey with the Twiggs County UGA Extension Office says pollinators are also key to the survival of wild plant species, and they help control pests that destroy agricultural crops.