And while I can't "heel-click" my way to spring, it is nice to be able to flip through the semi gloss pages filled with colorful seeds, flowers, vegetable and possibilities.
Not only are sunflowers beautiful, but they are functional on so many levels. The heavy stalks work wonderful for supporting trailing vine type plants like pumpkins and beans. When planted in rows, they act as a great windbreak, protecting delicate plants like tomatoes and peppers from leaf coiling in response to heavy winds.
- Spanning lawns with no flowers are replacing wild fields and meadows. The insects have to fly farther to find pollen sources and this increases losses.
- Widespread use of pesticides not only kills pest insects, but the beneficial ones as well.
- The honey bee and wild bee populations also face a new threat, Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious epidemic that can quickly kill an entire colony.
Pollinators are important to the human food system. Many of the foods we eat depend entirely on outside pollinators, so it's important that we do what we can to help them. Not only can you plant Sunflowers, but you can also join The Great Sunflower Project, or Backyard Bee Count. An organization that collects data from people like you and I. They use this information to help track pollinators and see where they are thriving, and where their numbers are weakening. For more information on The Great Sunflower Project, visit their site at http://www.greatsunflower.org/.
Here's a little video I put together from footage of our Sunflowers and Chickens, ~enjoy!
What seeds are you planning on ordering for your garden this year? Are you planting anything specifically for your chickens? Share your stories by leaving a comment below, visiting the Community Chickens Facebook Page, or join us at Iron Oak Farm.