Thursday, December 5, 2019

Events and info on Lawns to Legumes

Hello Gardeners!

Some information on this new program:
Lawns to Legumes Program Now Accepting Applications
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is now accepting applications for the Lawns to Legumes program, which aims to increase residential habitat for at-risk pollinators across the state. Lawns to Legumes offers a combination of workshops, coaching, planting guides and cost-share funding for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns.
Minnesota residents can now apply to be reimbursed for up to $350 in costs associated with establishing pollinator habitats in their yards. Applications will be accepted through February 28. Applicants who qualify for reimbursement are expected to attend a workshop or webinar to better ensure project success. Funding decisions and all notifications will be emailed in March for spring 2020 installations. For further program details, see BWSR's website.
How to apply: Apply online at Blue Thumb’s website

Am I eligible?
Anyone is welcome to use the planting guide or attend a workshop developed for this program to help plan a pollinator habitat project.
Minnesota residents anywhere in the state who have an area at their home that can be used for outdoor planting can apply for a combination of technical assistance (workshops, coaching) and cost-share funding. Proximity to areas where the Rusty patched bumblebee is likely to be present will be one factor considered when awarding reimbursement grants.

What does this program do?
Lawns to Legumes offers workshops, coaching, planting guides and cost-share funding for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns. The program also includes a public education campaign to raise awareness for pollinator habitat projects and will establish demonstration neighborhoods that showcase best practices.

Why does this matter?
Minnesota is home to more than 450 native bee species. Pollinators also include butterflies, moths, beetles and native flies. All play a key role in pollinating many food crops and native plants, but populations have significantly declined worldwide in recent years. Population decline can be attributed to habitat loss and lack of related nutrition for pollinators, as well as pesticide use and pathogens.
The program aims to protect the federally endangered state bee; the Rusty patched bumblebee, and other at-risk pollinators. Even relatively small plantings of native flowers can help create conditions that are valuable to pollinators and can help build important habitat corridors.

Getting started now
You don't have to wait to start planning a pollinator-friendly yard! Here are some helpful guides for creating habitat:

Info on winter seed starting and saving seeds
Richmond Seed Library has several online courses for seed saving and seed growing.

Joe Gardner has a podcast on the winter sowing method.

Upcoming Events
Dec 14, Saturday, 9 am -1 pm– Winter Farmer’s Market
Tamarack Nature Center, 5287 Otter Lake Rd, White Bear Township, MN
The Winter Farmer’s Market is back again this year! Many produce vendors and educational organizations will be at the winter farmer’s market. So will the Seed Library! Come check it out and stop by the Seed Library table to say hi. I also have a game kids and adults can play for a treat.

Jan 14, 2020 Tuesday, 6:30- 7:30 pm – Seed Talk
 History of Food Plants

Lion’s Den room in the White Bear Lake library, 2150 2nd St, White Bear Lake, MN

Find out some tasty facts about the plants we eat.
Were tomatoes always big, juicy and delicious?
How many varieties of potatoes were grown 200 years ago?
Did people first eat the roots or leaves of carrots?

There are as many fascinating facts about the plants we eat as there are seeds in the Seed Library! I’d love to share what I found, but I could use some help!  

I need help finding information!

If you enjoy sleuthing on the internet or in reference books, put your skills to use finding information on the history of plants we eat. Let me know what food plant you want to research. Then on Jan 14th you can share what you found with the rest of us. I’m not talking about a 3 page report! Just a few sentences of how a particular plant was used by people for food and how it has evolved over the years.

Send me an email of the name of the plant you want to research and I’ll keep a list so we don’t have duplicates. Right now we have potatoes, wheat and carrots covered. The food plant can be a fruit or vegetable, herbaceous plant, tree or shrub. 

As always, Seed Talks are really gardener discussions about a specific topic, though we do occasionally wander into other related topics. Please come and share your tips and questions!

Note: We are now in the questionable weather time of the year. If the weather looks difficult for driving I will cancel the Seed Talk or seed packaging. I will send out an email and contact the library so you can always call the library for any last minute changes. White Bear Lake library: 651-724-6007

Hope to see you at these events!

The Seed Library needs seeds! So far in 2019, over 2,500 packets of seeds have found new homes. Every year we increase the number of packets finding new homes, so we need lots of seeds for the 2020 season as well as native plants seeds for this fall.
Please save your seeds of non-hybrid, open-pollinated beans, peas, lettuce, sweet peppers, tomatoes, annuals and native plant seeds!
We are very short on peas and herb seeds!
If you are unable to save seeds from your own harvest, please donate a commercial packet of open-pollinated seeds.

I have added a list of great resources to the Seed Library blogsite.

Contact info for the Seed Library:

Thursday, November 7, 2019

New Native Plant Seeds in the Seed Library

Wednesday I stocked the Seed Library with over 300 new seed packets!
Here’s the list of Native Plants in the Seed Library
Common Name
Scientific Name
Giant Blue Hyssop
Agastache scrophulariaefolia
White Snake Root
Ageratina altissima
Tall Hairy Agrimony
Agrimonia gryposepala
Roadside Agrimony
Agrimonia striata
Prairie Onion
Allium stellatum
Lead Plant
Amorpha ceneocens
Pearly Everlasting
Anaphalis margaritacea
Thimble Weed
Anemone virginiana
Antennaria plantaginifolia
Aquilegea canadensis
Prairie Sage
Artemisia ludoviciana
Swamp Milkweed
Asclepias incarnati
Common Milkweed
Asclepias syriaca
Butterfly Weed
Asclepias tuberosa
Smallspike False Nettle
Boehmeria cylindrica
Side-Oats Grama
Bouteloua curtipendula
Blue Grama
Bouteloua gracilis
Fringed Brome Grass
Bromus cilites
Campanula americana
Common Hop Sedge
Carex lupulina
Sprengel's Sedge
Carex sprengelii
Partridge Pea
Chamaecrista fasciculate
Lance-leaf Coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata
Prairie Coreopsis
Coreopsis palmata
Purple Prairie Grass
Dalea purpurea
Prairie Cinquefoil
Drymocallis atguta
Pale Purple Coneflower
Echinacea pallida
Purple Coneflower
Echinacea purpurea
Rattlesnake Master
Eryngium yuccifolium
Large Leaved Aster
Eurybia macrophylla
Joe Pye weed
Eutrochium maculatum
Sweet Joe Pye Weed
Eutrochium purpureum
Blanket Flower
Gallardia species
Northern Blue Flag Iris
Iris versicolor
Helenium autumnale
Early Sunflower
Heliopsis Helianthoides
Alum Root
Heuchera richardsonii
Shrubby St. John's Wort
Hypericum prolificum
Rough Blazing Star
Liatris aspera
Meadow Blazing Star
Liatris ligulistylis
Prairie Blazing Star
Liatris pycnostachya
Cardinal Flower
Lobelia cardinalis
Great Blue Lobelia
Lobelia siphilitica
Lupinus perennis
Wild Bergamot
Monarda fistulosa
Spotted Bee Balm
Monarda punctata
Foxglove Beardtongue
Penstemon digitalis
Obedient Plant
Physostegia virginiana
Jacob's Ladder
Polemonium reptans
Solomon's Seal
Polygonatum biflorum
Yellow Coneflower
Ratibida pinnata
Brown-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia triloba
Wild Petunia
Ruellia humilis
Stiff Goldenrod
Solidago rigida
Little Bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium
Early Figwort
Scrophularia lanceolata
Late Figwort
Scrophularia marilandica
Blue-eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium shortii
Indian Grass
Prairie Dropseed
Sporobolus heterolepis
Heart Leaved Aster
Symphyotrichum cordifolium
Smooth Blue Aster
Symphyotrichum laeve
New England Aster
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
Sky Blue Aster
Symphyotrichum oolentangiense
Short's Aster
Symphyotrichum shortii
Tall Meadow Rue
Thalictrum dasycarpum
Blue Vervain
Verbena hastata
Hoary Vervain
Verbena stricta
Prairie Ironweed
Vernonia fasciculata
Culver's Root
Veronicastrum virginicum
Golden Alexander
Zizia aurea