This year once-again, we’ll be farming for bees. Last year I spent a good bit of the early summer doing research on the naturally occurring plant material on our farm and wrote about Bees and Farming. We’ll be planting about 45 acres in total.
The large fields will be mostly heirloom soy with a few acres of sunflower in the middle and a border of red and white clover.
Perhaps the deer won’t notice?! They seem to have developed quite a taste for Sunflower. In my mind, I am imagining how beautiful a large meadow of wildflowers will look when they start blooming late this spring. If only the weather would cooperate.
We have much to do in the fields. Aside from quite a few more Lavender plants, we are adding these bee-loved plants: Artichokes, Salvia Greggi, Blackberry, Blueberry, Germander, Creeping and Flowering Thyme, Swamp Milkweed, Butterfly Weed, Smooth Blue Aster, New England Aster, Partridge Pea, Oxeye Daisy, Lance-leaved Coreopsis, Plain Coreopsis, Showy Tick-trefoil, Purple Coneflower, Wild Blue Lupine, Wild Bergamot, Beardtongue, Blackeyed Susan and Bee Balm. Stay tuned.
If you want to help pollinators in your area, grow a pollinator garden this spring. This plant list will help you figure out the best plant material for your area. This list will help you understand the native plants recommended for various purposes.
This booklet outlines farming for bees providing guidelines for native bee habitat on farms.
Each year consulting ecologist Jeff Wolinski visits our farm with a hand-blended collection of seeds that he feel will thrive. He selects seeds he feel will take root and naturalize. Jeff assigns names sections of the farm. He visits a few more times to see that everything is taking root. This has been a years-long process, and though it’s like a box of chocolates (we never know what we’re going to get.
In farming, it’s always about the possibilities.