|Sunrise under an Australian Pine in the Abacos|
One way to control the problem of the proliferating Australian Pine tree in the Bahamas is to eat the seeds!
But I cannot find a single recipe calling for Australian Pine seeds.
|Australian Pines line the beach of Eight Mile Bay|
Australian Pines are free to reproduce in the Bahamas because there are no people or insects in our area that eat their seeds . Hundreds of thousands of these uneaten seeds are dropping to the ground and growing spontaneously, everywhere, uneaten by either humans or insects, or even fish. Now that is a special kind of problem, a population problem. If we could learn to control the population of Australian Pine, then perhaps we could live happily with them, mingling in their shade, burning their wood, and crafting them into tables and chairs, as needed.
A group of researchers, mostly entomologists, are hoping to find a good set of bugs that will eat Australian Pine seeds.
I am happy to report that Australians are involved in the research project. In my opinion, it makes sense to have them collaborate with us on this problem since they are the culprits who, several hundred years ago, sent us these trees. I figure they ought to know a lot about them or at least might have a few pine seed recipes that they could share.
But now we have another problem. Australians don't necessarily have the same issue with the trees that we do, because in Australia, there are a group of insects all eating Australian Pine seeds, thus controlling the size of the Australian Pine tree population. We, on the other hand, acquired the trees without the natural controls. This helps explain why Australians like their pines and we don't always share their viewpoint.
Which bugs eat Australian Pine seeds and how do we get them?
Wait a minute, not so fast! There is a bit of work to do before one takes a new bug into our environment. For example, we have to make sure that something eats the bug and that it doesn't become yet another invasive problem. We also have to be sure that that bug over there in Australia is going to like the specific "Australian Pine" seed that we now have here in the Bahamas.
Until this is resolved, and we decide who or what is going to eat the seeds, I ask:
What can we do with Australian Pines?