Thursday, 25 June 2015

Milkweed at Greener Village

We love milkweed!

Our Tropical milkweed
At Greener Village we’re currently raising both varieties of milkweed that are common to New Brunswick as well as Tropical milkweed (Asclepias Curassavica). We are raising both Swamp and Common milkweed to use for a seed saving and distribution program, so that we can give community members milkweed seeds to bring home and plant. Having community members plant locally sustainable milkweed will allow for a wider distribution of Monarchs and will help to offset the decline in milkweed that is occurring from pesticide use and land development. As Greener Village has a large area of wetland on the southern border of the complex, we will also be planting swamp milkweed in the hopes that it will establish itself and provide our returning Monarchs with a place to call home.

We’ve planted Tropical milkweed mainly as a food source for our raise-and-release program as it grows quickly with thick leaves. We will be saving seeds from our tropical plants, but they will not be introduced into the natural areas of the complex as we believe they won’t survive the winter. We’re still very excited about our tropical milkweed as it’s begun to put out flower buds!

How you can help:

A major part of our restoration plan is mapping out existing Monarch habitats in New Brunswick and making sure they aren’t disturbed, or are only disturbed after the Monarch has migrated south again. We need the community to help us identify patches of common and swamp milkweed (find our identifying post here) in the Fredericton area, or (ideally) all over New Brunswick. The Monarch is quickly approaching the Fredericton area and we want to make sure they have a place to lay their eggs! If you come across a patch of milkweed, please snap some pictures and send them to monarch@greenervillage.org, along with information about where you saw it and any location information (mile markers, proximity to the river, etc.).

Thanks so much and happy gardening!


Brandi

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