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Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife – January 15, 2024

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A white-throated sparrow foraging for seeds in a sheltered area near the house this afternoon.

Shannon’s Note

All day, we’ve had a steady powdering of flurries floating down from a thick layer of grey clouds. Over the last 24 hours we’ve gotten somewhere between 3 and 5 inches of snow. This is the first snow of the season for us.

As I’ve worked at the computer today, I’ve watched the birds out my office window. The sparrows have been busily hopping around the brush pile and foraging for seeds in the sheltered places next to the house. All the seedheads we’ve left on the flowers around the house and in the fields are going to be very important for the birds this week.

Many species of birds around the farm will also be actively seeking out insects that are overwintering in the standing vegetation in our fields and gardens. They’ll peck open the galls or stems and pull out the insect larvae or pupae they find. The larvae / pupae provide a valuable source of extra fat and calories that will help the birds stay warm.

Check out the Backyard Ecology resources at the end of this newsletter if you want to learn more about these topics.

Have a great day!

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How to Create Pollinator and Wildlife Habitat:

A Comprehensive Course for the Eastern U.S.

🦋 Have you been wanting to start a new pollinator and wildlife garden, or maybe even a larger habitat project, but you weren’t sure how to do it?

🦋 Would you like step-by-step guidance and personal support as you plan and then begin creating your pollinator and wildlife habitat?

If so, then we invite you to join us for a 12-week journey to transform your property into a flourishing ecosystem that supports pollinators and wildlife.

Say good-bye to being stuck because you don’t know where to start or what to do next. We’ll guide and support you every step of the way as you plan, design, and begin implementing your plan.

This isn’t just a series of lectures or a bunch of pre-recorded videos. We take a very personal and hands-on approach to support and guide you every step of the way as you create a plan for your property.

We also know that “real life” never goes exactly as planned and questions always come up when you go to implement a plan. So, we don’t help you create a plan just to abandon you when it comes time to put that plan into action.

Instead, we take it one step further and are there for you as you start creating your pollinator and wildlife habitat. In fact, depending on how much site prep you need to do, your priorities for this spring, and your climate, it’s entirely possible for you to go from not having any sort of plan when you start the course to having plants in the ground by the end of the course.

You’re also not going through this by yourself. You’ll have the other members of this course helping you, cheering you on, and celebrating your successes. Life’s always easier when you are doing it with friends and this course encourages you to help and support each other.

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Nursery News

We are busily preparing for the spring season. This includes making sure our seeds get the winter treatments (either artificial or natural) that they need, doing maintenance work in and around the nursery (when the weather cooperates), and making plans for events to attend and sell plants at. We’re also continuing with our educational efforts through Backyard Ecology, including the upcoming course because just as important as having access to the plants is knowing what to do with them.

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Backyard Ecology Resources

Did you know that Anthony and I produce a variety of free educational resources every week to help and encourage you as you grow native plants, create miniature ecosystems on your property, and attract pollinators and wildlife? Below are some of our free resources that you might enjoy.

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Busy Bee Nursery and Consulting

Helping you create the pollinator and wildlife habitat of your dreams, so you can enjoy your land and care for the plants and animals that also call your property home.

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