I’m on a rampage!

It started this morning when I looked on facebook and saw an article promoted by a wonderful gardener, author and expert in meadows and native plants.  Her name is Katherine Zimmerman and she started what is called the Meadow Project.  Find it here at www.themeadowproject.com. She posted an article from the New York Times and the basis was that we have rapidly declining numbers of insects.  Monarch butterflies were pratically nonexistant this year and all pollinators have declining numbers across the board.

While there are many reasons for this including over use of nicotine based chemicals called neonicotinoids as well as GMO  crops that have genetically altered DNA which who knows what it is doing to insects (or us but that is for another rant!), one of the worst things is loss of habitat.  There used to be wild meadows and even roadside weedy areas that worked as a corridor of pollen and nectar sourses for migrating insects.  So often now I see edges of farmers fields where chicory and clover used to bloom now just the dead, brown of Round Up sprayed vegetation.  Devoid of life for a long time.

One large problem is that even if you do go to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s or any other mega store selling plants cheaper than the Mom and Pop garden center down the  road, these large growers are using systemic chemicals which become essentially part of the plant itself.  They are used so that if  an insect tries to bite or chew the plant it will die from the chemicals running through the plants veins. Sounds great for the life of the plant but what happens when the butterfly or bee sip the nectar?  The same outcome. Death. So shop small and local or grow your own.

So here’s what we are all going to try to do.  First, stop using chemicals!  Trust me, I’ve been an organic gardener for many years and my plants grow just fine and probably better than chemically grown plants.  Second, get some flower seeds of milk weed or just collect some ripened seed pods this summer and bring them home and scatter them on some open ground.  Third, enjoy the life around you in the garden and larger environment.  All life is here for a purpose.  Lets not live a sterile, insect free life but recognize that all insects have a  role in the larger picture.

If you really want to make  difference, contact your local school or church or some other public organization and see  if they are doing anything to encourage wildlife on their land.  Volunteer to start just a small patch of wildflowers and take care of it for a season and see what happens.  You will get people interested and educated.  Start conversations while you are there and spread awareness.

And at the very least, if you can’t do any good, please don’t do any harm.

Please check out the full article at the link below:

The Year the Monarchs Didn’t Appear




Meadow garden

Meadow garden


November 24th, 2013

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