It’s International Biodiversity Day. A day to celebrate and remember the diversity of life around us. For me when I think of biodiversity I think of far away places — jungles crawling with bugs and reefs teeming with brightly color fish.
But a walk along the greenway below BART this morning reminded me that biodiversity occurs at many different scales in many different places. As I have written before, much of this linear park is now manicured grass worthy of a baseball game. But one short stretch had native wildflower seeds scattered and the poppies and lupines are coming up. It’s a welcome break from the green monoculture and attracts bugs and insects who call it home and larder.
And speaking of larder, what about biodiversity at the grocery store? Growing up in Britain in the 1970s apple season meant a diversity of lumpy, warty, but ultimately tasty apples — russets, cox’s and more. Then the French arrived with their golden delicious — perfectly round, blemish free and ultimately not tasty. I am fortunate that my local grocery store — the Monterey Market — specializes in biodiversity. In their case of fruit, vegetables, and even fungi. Where a regular store may have Fuji or Golden Delicious apples Monterey Market will have a dozen varieties at least with exotic names that are new to me. That was the fall and now I am looking forward to the diversity of cherries, peaches and tomatoes that have just returned to the shelves. My decision to try a new variety of peach or apple or aubergine helps keep that variety alive.
So let’s celebrate biodiversity — be that far away, close at home, or in the market. It is good for the planet and tasty too!