Pollinator Habitat Restoration

Encouraging Pollinators

Because pollinators work so hard to help us produce a bountiful harvest, we strive to provide them with the habitat they need to survive and flourish. This starts with organic practices - crop diversity and refraining from applying potentially harmful insecticides are the first steps in encouraging these native pollinators. At Blue Fruit Farm, we use several tactics to further encourage our pollinators.

Crop diversity is achieved within our fields by planting a range of species and varieties within species. This practice ensures that something is always blooming to attract pollinators. Early flowering juneberries and honeyberries welcome spring pollinators to our fields, while blueberries and aronia bloom later into the season after early blooms are spent. We also have planted several flowering plants which are not harvested, but are kept for their ability to attract beneficial insects. This practice began in 2011, when we added a row of butterfly weed and New Jersey tea - a drought tolerant shrub that we planted after seeing how it swarmed with pollinators while in bloom. In early 2014 we added several hairy mountain mint between plum trees. A native to our area, it is considered "THE plant to have" for attracting pollinators. We have also recently seeded anise hyssop in our greenhouse, to be planted in fall of 2014.

Adjacent to Blue Fruit Farm lies a 4.5 acre prairie which has been restored with the help of our friends at Prairie Moon Nursery. The field features a wide variety of native grasses and flowers, providing a beautiful display throughout the season of coneflowers, butterfly weed, wild indigo, indian paintbrush, and many more. The field is burned in the spring time to promote new growth, and some seeds are harvested throughout the season and sold through Prairie Moon. This field provides a wonderful habitat for pollinators as well as migrating birds.