Farmers Plant Milkweed for Native Pollinator Habitat
Farmers rely on pollinating insects to help produce our food. Some conservation groups are working with California farmers to bring back native pollinator habitat. Cannon Michael is one of those farmers, and the President of Bowles Farming Company.
Michael…”By working with some biologists, I came to realize that some of those areas had degraded and didn't have as much of the native plant species that we would have liked to have seen. And at the same time, we had been obviously aware of issues with pollinators from bees to Monarch Butterflies. As we started looking at some of the areas on the farm to sort of rebuild the native species, we really wanted to focus on native species that had a pollinator component…
...The more we looked at that, we actually started looking at how we could actually grow some pollinating species on the farm as almost like a crop in a way to grow the seed, not only for doing restoration on the farm, but actually helping other restoration efforts worthwhile to try to help figure out how to make that happen…
...So we actually have a couple of stands, you know, over 20 acres of, producing milkweed that we're, harvesting the seed for restoration work, not only on our farm, but around the central valley.”
Cannon has launched Great Valley Seed to produce native species of milkweed that also serve as pollinator habitat. He has found success in working with several conservation groups to make projects like this happen. Finding ways to work with nature, he says will benefit both his organic and conventional crops.