Publisher’s Corner: A Summer of Heat, Unrest and Life Cycles

Powerful summer storms knocked out electricity to so many in our area recently. Not a good time to go off the grid as temperatures in our house rose to over 80 degrees. But a heavy duty extension cord run from a kind neighbor across the street allowed us to run a fan and a light so we endured. Summer in St. Louis comes with many faces. Sunny dispositions and dark skies and scowls. Summer is my season, but even this Leo finds the sweltering heat a bit too much to enjoy. Luckily the storms have kept the rain barrel full and we have to water even more in these conditions. I watched a wasp and a monarch caterpillar battle for survival in my garden. I wanted to help but knew it was the order of life. I turned away knowing that the caterpillar would become the host for the wasp’s eggs. The squirrels have taken only a couple of my tomatoes so far this season. My garden owl and rubber dinosaur head are still standing guard. On the cover you see a photo I took of a Praying Mantis in our yard. They come back every year. Probably because we end up with so many aphids on some of our plants. While many people consider the Praying Mantis a beneficial insect because they will eat those pesky pests who destroy your garden plants, it is important to note that they are voracious eaters and will eat some of the good bugs, too. One friend even said they are considered by some as “invasive.” Since we don’t use any type of pesticides or herbicides in our yard or garden, the insects are on their own to fight it out. I have seen more butterflies this year already. As bad as the zika virus and other mosquito spread illnesses are, it’s important to note that mosquito spraying takes its toll on all insects, good and bad. And honey bees, too. There’s a balance to maintian. Make sure you look around your yard for even the smallest amount of standing water where mosquito larvae thrive. This is a good first line of defense. It’s something we all can do to help keep the mosquito population and community fogging to a minimum.

This is quite a summer with the theatrics of the political conventions, the Summer Olympics and growing social unrest. It’s a time that perhaps we all need to sit down with our children and talk to them about what it means to be a good and tolerant person. The odds are your children, if young enough, have not yet adopted a sense of bigotry and social superiority. They may learn early to be a bit possessive and sometimes have trouble sharing, but we parents are there to teach them. And in teaching them, maybe reminding ourselves. We are their window into the future. We help set their sights for the things to come. If we teach them to be color blind, tolerant, generous and caring, they might have a chance for a better world once we are gone. But if we share with them the anger, anxiety and hatred that comes from our own prejudices and fears, then they will likely carry the torch of divisiveness and despair. Parenting was never easy, but it has perhaps taken on even a more important role as our children are the seeds of the future. How they grow and spread their roots are up to us while they are in our garden. Even if you feel like life has let you down, give your kids a chance to rise up and create their own opportunity for happiness. A healthy and harmonious planet depends on it.

Our Fall Expo is coming up September 25. For exhibitor info call 314-962-7748 today!

In Good Health, J.B. Lester, Publisher