We have begun our Pollinator Project! It is multi-faceted, involves all of us at the EGP, and has everything to do with pollinators. We are not just talking insects and birds. We are talking everything about pollinators – what they are attracted to, what they are not attracted to, where they live, their habits, getting them into our gardens and keeping them happy, healthy and sticking around.
Robyn, our fabulous summer student, is all about pollinators. She was in India earlier this year researching Integrated Pest Management (yes, that means looking at pollinators) on a rural farm in Southern India. This summer as part of her co-op program she is helping us with the Pollinator Project. Robyn has been mapping, researching and delving further into the pollinator’s world.
Wonderful pollinator photos have been collected by Robyn and a calendar will soon be for sale at the farm during our farm gate sales (Wednesdays 4:00 – 6:00pm and Saturday 10:00am – 12:00pm). The calendar will have more than pretty pictures it will also have some fun facts that will help you understand the world of pollinators. If nothing else you will be able to pull out morsel of pollinator lore at family gatherings and impress the group.
Robyn, Leslie (our Community Coordinator) and Thanushi (our Education Coordinator) are planning new pollinator gardens. At the farm, we hope to have a pollinator corridor behind the greenhouse, a garden in the beehive area (check out our new hives), and a brand-new shade garden. We are also getting some pollinator planters installed, thanks to a donation by the City of North Van.
Another pollinator project at the farm is the renovation of the established border at the front (West) of the farm. For this we are inviting the public for their input and participation through a series of three workshop. The first workshop will be a garden design and knowledge share event held at Loutet Farm on Saturday August 19th. For this you need to register here and we would love for you to participate!
Pollinator shade gardens are a challenge since fewer plants bloom in lower light, or in shade. You will also find that flowers in the shade are usually white or pale in colour. The pollinators colour of choice is blue or purple. But we are up for the challenge of a shade garden and of course, once again your input at the workshops would be an asset and most welcomed.
The Pollinator Project does go further afield than Loutet Farm. Queen Mary School, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the Harmony Garden on the Squamish Nation will also have new pollinator gardens installed as part of this project.
For all the gardens the planting will be done in the fall and winter when it will cause less disruption to our pollinator friends and plants can establish without us standing over them with a watering can.
Thank you to our all our funders that support this project – EcoAction, City of North Vancouver, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, RBC Bluewater Community Action Grant.