A Diverse Native Grassland is green from spring through fall and even into winter, which means that the land is collecting sunlight and producing forage through each season. Join Amy Hamilton on a virtual pasture walk that was filmed in April and May to see the grassland plants in spring and watch as they grow and change.
If you would like to further explore the concept of a diverse native grassland being green in all seasons, read our previous article, titled “Diversity: Green in All Seasons”. And to read about the underground benefits of diversity, read “Diversity: Roots in All Depths” or “A Diversity of Plants is Stronger Together than Alone: A Look at Roots”.
We are looking for patches of Common and Swamp Milkweeds to harvest for seed. If you know of a sizable patch of these or another native species, read on for details.
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is beginning to bloom, and Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is yet to bloom. We are looking for seed of the milkweeds to harvest; these flowers are not only beautiful, but the plants are required by the Monarch butterfly’s caterpillars. At Hamilton Native Outpost, we have a mobile harvesting team and will travel to pick seed, or hard-working folks can also pick the seed themselves and send it to us for cleaning. Of course, there is a minimum patch size that is feasible to harvest – 2 plants on 20 acres will not be enough to bother with for harvesting seed! It is difficult to give guidelines on how big a patch needs to be; it depends a host of factors. In general though, thousands of stems are necessary, or to look at it another way, a ¼ acre patch would need to have a plant at least every 10 feet.
We are also interested in patches of other species such as: Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), White Indigo (Baptisia alba), Canada Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis), Tall Dropseed (Sporobolus compositus), Sideoats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), and many other native grasses and wildflowers.
If you have a patch you would like us to consider, contact us by phone (417-967-2190) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). And, the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is true in this case, so if you can send a few pictures of the area, it can help us get an idea of the patch.