Grow Herbs and Save the World

GreenBridgesLogo_LoI’ve been planning a post about the importance of pollinator gardens and The Herb Society’s GreenBridgesTM Initiative . This initiative encourages people to plant native plants that support pollinators.  The program envisions a network of pollinator gardens across the United States. More than 100 gardens – HSA members and non-members — are already registered. HSA is just one of many organizations fighting the good fight. This post from The Grower’s Exchange is a great reminder on planning your garden to save the world. – Paris Wolfe

By The Grower’s Exchange

In case you have forgotten, pollinators are essential to our survival.  That sounds pretty dramatic, but when you recall your elementary earth science class, you remember that almost all of the world’s flowering plants rely on pollinators. According to the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, ‘pollinators provide service to over 180,000 plants and more than 1,200 crops … 1 out of every 3 bites of food you eat is available because of pollinators’.  Without pollinators, our food supply would be in peril.

Bees lavenderThere is good science clearly showing that pollinator populations are in decline:  habitat loss means that this vital population is losing nesting and feeding habitats.  Pollution, climate change, disease as well as the misuse of chemicals have all contributed to this worrisome state of affairs, and the need for action is clear.

There are so many simple steps that we can all take to help:  on our farm, we are deliberately planting more and more natural habitat areas filled with native species.  Turning a portion of your fields back to green spaces can actually increase overall yields.   Home gardens can be turned into pollinator gardens with the addition of plants that are necessary to their survival.

Honestly, this is such an easy job, and some of the steps include:

  1. Grow plantsthat are native to your region. Ccheck out this incredible resource from Pollinator Partnership:  http://pollinator.org/guides. These guides identify plants that are native to your area, and provide nectar for the adults and food for larvae.
  2. Design your garden for a CONTINUOUS succession of plant floweringfor as long as your zone allows.
  3. Offer a constant supply of water in a shallow container for pollinators.
  4. Feedhummingbirds and birds.
  5. Eliminatethe use of pesticides in your yard and garden.

The Growers Exchange has a greenhouse full of plants that will help – check out our BUTTERFLY attracting plants as well as our BEE friendly plants!  Become a part of the solution, and do your part to help ensure that these very important pollinators have a fighting chance.

Herb Society members receive a 15% discount from The Grower’s Exchange. Visit herbsociety.org for Member Login or to become a member. 

For more information see Author Chat: Build a Bee Friendly Garden

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