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Posts Tagged ‘pollinators’

Dude.  I just found out that Bee Balm (a fantastic pollinator attractant) has an aroma very similar to Bergamot, and can be used to flavor Earl Grey tea, one of my favorites.  That’s exciting.

Also, I realized that we can make egg noodles with our extra eggs.  Whole wheat egg noodles. With fresh-ground whole wheat from David’s grain grinder.

And, yesterday we bought some common vetch and winter rye seeds from City People’s to try out as cover crops this winter.  The vetch is a viney legume that fixes nitrogen, and the rye is planted with it for support.  I’m hoping that the chickens will like to eat both, and that neither will grow stems too tough to decompose quickly in the compost bin.  Now… if only i could keep Cornelia out of the chicken patch long enough to let the cover crops grow…  she’s so tricksy!  People say chickens aren’t very smart- but she’s clever- and therefore a pain in the ass.

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I’m pretty stingy with my garden space- i don’t want anything growing in there that won’t be delicious for either us or the chickens.  This has meant that i have never planted any flowers, except for a few generic bulbs in the front yard- a decidedly neglected little piece of hard dirt.  I did attempt to plant some nasturtiums along the fence (somewhat less generic, and edible!) but they were over taken by the morning glory before they could produce more than a few leaves and blooms.

Without many flowers in the yard, we don’t get many pollinators coming around.  We still manage to get enough vegetables fruiting, but i’ll bet that two thirds of the flowers on the beans and tomatoes and squash don’t end up producing fruit because no one has come to visit them.  So i’ve recently become obsessed with researching the best flowers and plants to attract pollinating bees and butterflies so that i may recruit more winged, fuzzy help to my garden.  I also decided that i’d try to make most of these plants native- as a good challenge and to provide familiar pollen and nectar for native insects.  I also thought that most of them should be perennials, to save me time in the future and to leave the soil less disturbed from digging in new plants each year.

So, to start, here’s a list that i’ve come up with of mostly native, mostly perennial plants and flowers that bees love.  As soon as i research them all to find out what to put where in which season, i’ll let you know the deets.

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