It’s early May and spring is finally making an appearance! Many things that typically occur in April are only just now getting under way. Everything has happened a solid two weeks behind average, the ice going off the pond, the frogs croaking, the pasque flowers blooming, and as of last night, the annual burning of our prairie reconstruction!

Native plant communities evolved with fire. It’s not something they just cope with, they thrive! Fire stimulates seed production, clears thatch layers, and makes it easier for small animals and birds to get around. For our purposes, regular inter-seeding throughout the year combined with dormant season burns is the key to increasing species richness and diversity.

In addition to the ecological benefits, prescribed burns are just a lot of fun! I mean, how often does a diverse group of people get to work together on an exciting project towards an end that everyone can feel good about? I come away from these events feeling more connected, both to the land and to the people I share it with. What more could one ask for?

Other Spring Happenings

The pasque flowers have finally begun blooming! Every spring this event goes straight to my core. Pasque flowers are anemones, sometimes called “windflowers.” I named our business after them because of what they do to me each spring. It is difficult to put into words. Perhaps I will try someday, but for now, just look at those beauties! Better yet, get out there and find some! They bloom been mid-April and mid-May most years. Check on hilltops in remnant prairies. It’s such a treat to find them!

Additionally, the pasque flowers I planted in a production plot last year have fared very well and are just now beginning to stretch their fuzzy leaves towards the sun. These are plants that will be for sale later this year as bare root plants.

Elsewhere I am continuing my work for United Prairie Foundation. I’ve been engaged in helping to slow the succession of prairie to brush and forest on federal lands. This winter the name of the game was running heavy equipment, but this spring I’m at it on foot with a backpack sprayer. It feels good to be getting some miles in again!

The plants in our greenhouse are coming along well. I’ve recently installed a roll-up panel on the front to help with ventilation. Now that the temps are rising it gets seriously hot in there FAST! I plan to send out pick up notices for early season orders like prairie smoke around May 13th. Some of the warmer season plants might need a little time yet. We’ll see. We’re still learning!

The support we’ve been receiving so far has been very encouraging. I want to thank all of you who have sent emails, signed up for our mailing list, bought a few plants, and just generally shared your excitement. It means a lot, and it feels good knowing that we’re putting this energy towards something good. Let’s keep it up together!

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