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How Can We Save the Monarch Butterfly Populations in Minnesota? Part 3 of Our Interview with Prairie Restorations Inc.

EastmanParkMonarch (2)Editor’s Note: In Part 1 and Part 2 of this interview with Janna Jonely, our Director of Retail Operations, we talked with her about pollinator conservation and potential solutions to their disappearing habitats. In this final segment we asked her specifically about monarch butterflies and planting milkweed. Question: What’s all the fuss about milkweed, and how can we help the monarch butterflies? Answer: Certainly. And I just bring this up because it obviously has received a lot of attention recently. ...

How Can We Protect Threatened Pollinators? Minnesota Bee & Pollinators Solutions! Part 2 of Our Interview with ‎Janna Jonely, Director of Retail Operations at Prairie Restorations, Inc.

shoreline pondEditor’s Note: In Part 1 of this interview, Janna Jonely, Director of Retail Operations, discusses pollinator conservation and conditions that threaten their survival. Continuing with the interview, she talks about possible solutions. Question: We’ve talked about the threats to pollinators. What is the solution to our problem here, and how would you define the problem? Answer:The problem is the habitat doesn’t exist, and so we have to build new habitat. Basically what it boils down to is the wilderness that is left in this part of...

Native Seed Harvesting Has Begun

Bagged SeedThe Boreal Natives’ seed department has started collecting seed for the 2015 season. We kicked off our season picking some woodland grasses in the middle of July. Moving from the woods to the wetlands, we have started and will continue to pick sedges as they ripen. The past two weeks have been very busy for us, combining Poverty oat grass (Danthonia spicata) last week in northeastern MN and this week Blue joint (Calamagrostis canadensis) in Central MN. The fields...

Native Orchids of Minnesota

Purple Fringed OrchidPurple Fringed OrchidI have had the opportunity to come across a few orchids while harvesting seed. I have seen two different species on the Princeton farm. One species, Spiranthes cernua, Nodding ladies-tresses, was found in our wet basin’s about three years ago and I have not seen it there since. This year, I found Platanthera lacera, Ragged fringed orchid, in the ditch adjacent to our Indian grass field. Both of these orchids commonly grow in the Anoka Sand Plain. ...

Importance of Natives & Diversity

walmart 010 (2)I had recently taken a trip to northern Minnesota to our family cabin. It isn’t located on a lake, but 1.5 miles back into the woods. Peace and quiet – nature at its best. The land consists of multiple acres that contain oak savannas, mature oak forest, wetlands, and creeks. There are also multiple lakes in the area. A lot of this area has minimal disturbance and is about 99.9% native vegetation cover. I have grown to appreciate pieces of property like this as I know their importance and...

Life in a Prairie

frog & monarda IIThere’s more to a prairie than just its plants. If you ever walk through a prairie, you will notice there is tons of life to be seen. Just stand still among the flowers and grasses to see the life in a prairie unfold. Soon you will see the busy little bumble bees pollinating away. The beautiful butterflies sipping nectar among the purple blazing star flowers. The tree frogs awaiting patiently atop a leaf for their insect meal to pass by. The rabbits darting about trying to keep...

Native Plants Heal the Environment

bee and monardaI read a magazine the other night. A short story on honeybees caught my attention. It featured the following quote from famous apiculturist John Root on the decline of honeybees: “Much of this decline is due to the increasing use of pesticides. Another reason is the lack of forage for bees. Farmers used to plant large acreages to green manure crops such as alfalfa and clover. Now they’re using more chemicals instead of green manures, reducing the bee forage. Bees used to find forage...

Persistence Wins the Weed Battle

Mesic prairieAfter 22 years as a participant and observer of restored and remnant native landscapes, I have learned persistence wins the weed battle at the end of the day. The natural world is full of change and disturbances (not that this is all bad) but plants, both native and non-native, respond in various ways.  At times undesirable plants appear to “come out of nowhere” and disrupt the native plant community.  Even when plant communities are stable, certain weather conditions (i.e., heavy or prolonged rain periods, drought, unseasonably hot or cold temperatures, shortened...

Native Plants Benefiting Waterfowl and Upland Birds

mallardAs summer seems to be starting in much of the state, here in Boreal Native’s country in Northeastern Minnesota nature is still playing catch-up after a long and snowy winter.  While steelhead are still running in the rivers up the north shore and the Juneberries (Amelanchier ssp.) are finally blooming, preparations for the year have been long in the making.  Seed field production plans are being put in motion, grass and wildflower species that were seeded in February are now potted into six packs and 4” pots ready...

Drought Resistant Native Plants

I’m sure everyone has noticed we could use a little rain!  Everywhere you look, the turf grass is brown and dry.  It may not be dead but it sure doesn’t look good.  Those who have green and lush turf most likely have a large water bill to go along with it.  Those who have a native prairie restoration are enjoying the spectacular fall colors that prairies provide.  As the native grasses go dormant for the year, they take on golden and red colors that last well into the winter.  The fall blooming...
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