Free Milkweed Seeds
There are certain things I remember from my childhood summer days. The special trips we took as a family to the Catskill mountains were a favorite. I was growing up in a small suburb that was quickly turning into a city. We had a small patch of grass in the backyard and really scary neighbors who yelled at me. Needless to say, I avoided the back yard. So when our family spent summers in a little cabin surrounded by forest it was life changing to me.
Our first two weeks were unlike anything I have ever known. No electricity or running water. The utility companies were stalling because I think they had no idea how to navigate through the woods to get to us. Having no distractions from T.V. or anything else, my favorite activity was spending the day wandering down trails collecting huge bouquets of wildflowers. There were just never ending hills filled with them. Even though that by the time I came home they were a little wilty and bent, my mom would always find some place to put them on display.
So, why the trip down memory lane? There was one flower I should not have picked. It was big and beautiful. covers in orange flower buds. It was called common milkweed. Let me tell you this is a great injustice. This flower is way to pretty and special to be called that sad name. Remember those breathtaking orange and black butterflies that seemed to be everywhere? Well now they are disappearing. I am sure there are a ton of reasons why. The one thing I know is that milkweed is scarce. This is the only plant that a monarch butterfly will lay her eggs on. A food source for the caterpillars.
This spring please consider carving out a small patch of dirt and spread some seeds with your kids. They will love it. Worms, water, mud! What more can a kid ask for? Well, the joy on my little ones faces about 3 months later when we spotted our first monarch caterpillar was worth its weight in gold to me.