Week 8: Fellow Travellers
Welcome back to my blog.
During my visit to the farm, I helped plant nine of 32 hazelnut plants that they received. Rutgers New Brunswick’s Cook campus helped genetically modify one type of hazelnut, which makes it resistant to eastern blights, at the tradeoff that it produces smaller hazelnuts. The other type was a type found in Oregon which naturally developed an immunity to other types of blights, and produces larger hazelnuts. They are both wind-pollinated, and are excellent food sources for NYC residents to plant in order to move away from a dependence on bee-pollinated agriculture, given their global decline.
We measured out a line between a few posts, located in a southeastern area of the farm. Wind most commonly blows from the northeast, and all of the plants need to have near-identical photosynthesis patterns—multiple agriculture books give this tip. As a result, the sun will hit each of the plants equally at any given time.
The greatest change that I observed on the farm was how much greener it was in May compared to April. Dr. Cuonzo reinforced this by explaining that in April, one can de-root plants and move them, since they’re still in a hibernating-type state which helps them survive the winter.
I’m still discussing the final time that I’d visit their farm for this project.
The representative from Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition (BBAWC) put me into contact with psychologist and feral cat trapper, Dr. Rachel Adams. Dr. Adams was extremely helpful, and encouraged my work in how I’m examining the public perception of feral cats, in addition to my understanding of the trapping of feral cats. She explained that I couldn’t trap this week, since a writer from the New York Times, who is doing a piece on NYC’s feral cat overpopulation, is taking pictures in an area where Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) is being performed. She was also surprised about my feral cat population graphs, and mentioned that that same writer might be interested in using my calculations and graphs in his piece!
My other connection, who offered me the opportunity to feed a colony of feral cats that she knows, told me that she can’t have me do that until later into the summer. Dr. Adams did inform me that she’s going to put me into contact with someone who performs TNR in a few areas, and hopefully next week or the week after, I could participate.
I finished the first half of my whitepaper this week: the solitary bee section. I’ve also read more chapters of Keith H. Hirokawa’s anthology Environmental Law and Contrasting Ideas of Nature, and highlighted sentences which focus on habitat loss and ecosystem instability. I’m very optimistic about this project, since everything this week has been very beneficial, and I’m excited to keep meeting people and helping the feral cat and solitary bee causes in the remaining weeks. Thank you for reading.