When it comes to life and learning on the prairie, there are few creatures more near and dear to our hearts than our pollinator friends. They are essential to life and growth here on the farm and in communities around the world.
While bees have certainly become the “poster-creature” for pollinators, countless other insects, birds, bats and other small mammals help pollinate plants, as well.
This page serves as a virtual gathering place where you can get to know our local pollinators, up close and personal, follow us through a year of pollinators on the prairie (and their food sources) and learn more about what you can do to help.
WHY WE LOVE POLLINATORS
Did you know…
- There are THOUSANDS of species of pollinators in Minnesota?
- At least 75% of flowering plants need help from pollinators to reproduce – that translates to over 180,000 plant species around the world
- One of every three bites of food you eat relies on pollinators – from fruits, veggies and nuts to grains that feed cattle
- We also rely on pollinators for oil, fibers and other raw materials
Humans, as well as many other wild creatures, rely on food produced with the help of our pollinator friends.
They take care of us, so we want to help take care of them, too!
About 20 years ago, we tired of seeing the harmful effects of pesticides and herbicides in and around Prairie Horizons Farm, including harm to our local pollinators, and began the transition to grass-based organic agriculture.
We now focus on organic practices in our pastures, gardens and orchard and have grown passionate about the native and restored prairies that surround us.
Some of you may have joined us for one of our 4 (so far) Join Hands for Pollinators events.
Since 2010, we have invited friends, neighbors and community members in “wake up” Joraan’s Orchard as a tribute to our son and a way to celebrate the start of a new growing season.
On May 7, 2016, as we gathered, a pesticide sprayer arrived, as well – uninvited and unable to be persuaded otherwise.
The strong, gusty wind that day blew this unwanted spray in the direction of the orchard and the people gathered there.
Now, each spring, we join hands in solidarity and learn more about how to protect our pollinators, ourselves, our children and our future.
A YEAR OF POLLINATORS
While we hope this page will be a place to share our story, experiences and inspire you to take action to protect our pollinators, locally and worldwide, we also to show you what it is we are so passionate about protecting.
Follow along with us as we share a year on the prairie, complete with photos and video of our busy helpers and the plants that support them. For most of us, we protect what we know and love. So here is a chance to get to know these tiny and amazing creatures – up close and personal!
HOW WE SUPPORT POLLINATORS
We depend on native pollinators to span the season and they depend on us to make sure their food sources do too.
Native and restored prairie blooms from early spring to late fall, supplying food for pollinators all season long.
Controlled burns help to stimulate plant growth and diversity in a prairie ecosystem. On the farm, we are carefully never to burn more than 20% of our land in a single burn. This ensures that pollinators and other creatures have plenty of space to take refuge.
Our gardens, orchards and pastures are all certified organic. This means that the pollinators (as well as other creatures on our land and in the air and soil) are not exposed to pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Learning about pollinators and helping to protect them can be a fun activity for the whole family! Here are some ideas to get you started:
Plant a pollinator garden. Even a few potted plants can make a difference
Grow a flowering bee lawn.
Involve the whole family! Find tips and activities at KidsGardening.org
Our mission is to build a farm-based system of healthy food production, processing and distribution that is economically sound, environmentally responsible and beneficial to future generations.