What are we doing with this spot? We are planting butterflies!
Well, actually, a butterfly garden! The area we are talking about is approximately one acre, which has been sitting fallow for many years. We began working it this spring, and will plant a mix of dry ground prairie plants this summer. The perimeter will be ringed by a windbreak of hybrid hazelnut plants. There is a managed hazelnut planting on the adjoining farm, and we are getting volunteer hazelnut bushes sprouting in this unused field. Seems like a natural to follow what is already happening, and if nothing else, these will provide a windbreak and wildlife planting.
Our real focus is to attract pollinators for all our various fruit and berry plantings: but we also feel that a scenic natural amphitheater filled with a meadow of dancing butterflies is something our customers will want to take an orchard stroll to look at. So, if you are visiting this summer, be sure to ask about it and see how it is progressing! You are always welcome to stroll around the orchard.
The hazelnut bushes have been recently planted and the wildflower seeds will go in in June. While the most beautiful wildflower blossoms will show up next summer, we hope to have some milkweed established during this summer. It shouldn't be too long until the butterflies have found a new favorite garden at our orchard!