Leaving Milkweed for Monarch Butterflies
I decided to start saving milkweed for the Monarchs. I like foraging for wild edibles, but I also like Monarch butterflies. And these beautiful creatures are in trouble. Habitat destruction and herbicide use are destroying the milkweed plants that Monarchs must lay their eggs on each year. For more information about conserving their habitat and saving the Monarch, check out this page on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website. You can even report sightings in your area.
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What Does This Have To Do With Foraging?
Common milkweed is a tasty wild edible. But I am finding it harder to collect enough to prepare for my family and still leave enough for the butterflies. So this year I decided not to collect any milkweed at all. I’ve planted some in the chicken pasture to help give the Monarchs more habitat and food sources in our area.
If you forage for wild edibles, please consider leaving most of the milkweed for the butterflies. You could also plant some milkweed on your property to provide a habitat for them. Contact your local parks department to see if they are participating in Monarch conservation projects. You can also order milkweed seeds from Save Our Monarchs or the following sources.
Have You Seen Any Monarchs Yet This Year?
They should be arriving in our area from their migration soon. Last year I saw only half a dozen or so Monarchs. When I was a kid there were so many you couldn’t count them all. I hope you will join in the effort to plant milkweed and save our butterflies!
Do you have milkweed growing near you? Do you eat it? If so, please check for Monarch eggs before harvesting and be sure to leave some for the Monarch Butterflies.
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