Friday, July 11, 2014

Project "Neighborhood Milkweed"

A month ago I ordered a flat of 32 swamp milkweed plugs from the Monarch Watch Milkweed Market. They were supposed to be 3" tall. When I opened the box they were nearly a foot tall! I had planned on growing them up and using them for clients next year but these were just begging to go in someone's garden right away.

I thought about my neighborhood and how so many people already had lovely gardens, they were just lacking milkweed. I typed up a letter explaining I had these 32 plants, that monarch caterpillars can only eat milkweed, why the species is declining and that everyone can help by adding this beautiful plant to their gardens. And the best part? They could take one for free. How extraordinary would it be if the whole neighborhood were a giant Monarch Waystation?

Before my kids and I even got back from delivering the 49 letters a plant was already taken. By the end of the week 20% of the neighborhood had milkweed in their yards. By this writing 20 houses, or 41% of the neighborhood now has milkweed!

I still have a few plants and I'm really hoping I can convince more neighbors to take them. I'm not worried about finding the milkweeds homes, I actually have a waiting list of friends all around Essex County who want a plant!