Howdy, everybody! My little garden is coming together, and I am super excited! When I started this internship, I honestly had no idea what I was doing let alone what project I wanted to do. When I finally told Corey I liked butterflies we decided on a butterfly garden and went from there. Since then I have realized I want this butterfly garden to have many purposes. First of all, I want my garden to be a place for butterflies to travel through during migration season which has already begun. Second I see this garden as just the beginning of an idea for future Howdy Farm members. I want this garden to be used as an educational tool as well as the rest of the farm.
What I mean is that a butterfly garden can be used to teach students of all ages about butterflies and why they're significant as well as about habitats, ecosystems, different types of plants and how butterflies and other pollinators are attracted to them. It can be beautiful and educational and if properly taken care of, could last a long time.
Well, that is my hope for the future anyway! For now, I'll just talk about whats currently happing out on the Howdy Farm. As of this past week, I have filled every row in the garden with plants and things are starting to grow!
I started out with all of these transplants that were growing in the greenhouse, and I took them out into the field for planting. With the help of some excellent volunteers and a fellow intern we got everything planted and watered down in no time at all. We planted a combination of plants that attract pollinators as well as a variety of host plants that can be used in the spring if they make it through the winter. Once all the work was done, we were left with this cute looking piece of land.
It is incredible how things have grown just since I have taken this picture. My zinnias are blooming, the borage is enormous, and my sunflowers get taller every day. And down in the rain garden section, the Turks caps are looking healthier since I started watering them, the milkweed is healthy, and my hibiscus flower bloomed again! It is comforting and beautiful out here.
I am not the only one finding the Howdy Farm comforting. There are many insects that find our farm irresistible. However, some of these creatures are not as beautiful or as helpful as butterflies. For example, moths. Moths are one of the pests we have an abundance of on the farm. The adult moths themselves are not so bad, and they can be helpful like butterflies when it comes to pollination. Their larvae, however, can reek havoc on crops.
This picture I took of some of the daisies I planted in the garden, and you can see three moths enjoying the flowers I planted. This photo gave me another idea for my garden. If pests are eating away at my plants, then maybe they won't be eating our produce that we eat and sell. I planted half of my garden with host plants for them to be eaten anyway, so I did not mind the moths plating their eggs in my garden. My primary concern with that idea though was that it is possible that these plants attracted more moths instead of just distracting the ones that were already there. Oh well, it is all a learning experience!