On a recent drive through the countryside on Prince Edward Island, my husband and I stopped to observe the colour and appearance of crops on both sides of the roads.
Rural Prince Edward Island is farmland, rolling hills or flat land and along the coast, the sea is the backdrop.
Haying has been underway for some time now
and potato fields are in bloom,
as are the canola plants.
Or is it canola? It is hard to tell these days, as farmers are also planting mustard which looks like yellow blooming canola to the untrained eye.
Mustard plants are a natural fumigant to pests such as wire worm which damage potato crops. Farmers grow the brown mustard plants, then plow them under. During decomposition, the plants release the bio-fumigant into the soil which controls and kills insect pests. Such natural pest control is great for consumers.
We recently saw another unusual plant in the fields as well. This one is buckwheat,
which has the same effect as the mustard plants. Both buckwheat and mustard plant blossoms are attractive to bees. Honey production is increased in areas where these plants grow.
Meanwhile, wheat is a dusty straw colour
and so is barley.
I find it impossible to identify them from a distance.
Clover, a cover crop used in crop rotation to help restore nutrients to the soil, is in bloom as well. The purple fields line roads and shoreline.
The most curious discovery was a field of peas, a new crop for the island, to supply a new processing plant in western PEI.
These are a fraction of the crops grown on the island. However, the expansion of the industry to include peas and the bio-fumigant properties of and bee preference for mustard and buckwheat plants are all great news. Now if we only had some rain!