Articles

The Great American Seed Up Kicks Off National Pollinator Week with a Spotlight on Wildflowers

National Pollinator Week June 21 through 28, 2021

The Great American Seed Up (GASU) celebrates National Pollinator Week, starting on Monday, June 21st.  In honor of this important week, GASU will offer several resources to enhance appreciation and understanding of the role pollinators play in our garden.  Known for regionally adapted, affordable seeds, GASU will include a bonus Wildflower PDF Companion Handbook for every seed bundle purchased through June 27, 2021. This Handbook covers the how, where and why of wildflower cultivation.

Additionally, on Tuesday, June 22nd at 5 pm PST, the monthly live Seed Chat webinar will spotlight wildflowers to further understanding of how to grow them and harvest them in the wild. Discussion will also focus on how wildflowers benefit us in so many ways, exponentially increasing pollinator activity. Live Q&A allows for participants to ask their own questions, so invite your newly-gardening friends too. Information about the webinar is found at GreatAmericanSeedUp.org under the Events tab.  Produced by Urban Farm U, details on the webinars can also be accessed at https://www.UrbanFarm.org/events/.

Let’s face it. We need pollinators and they need us. Despite this reality, people often do not have a good relationship with pollinators. Bees are swatted. Wasps are sprayed with all kinds of toxic concoctions. Bats are seen as a nuisance. Many don’t know the difference between a good bug and a bad bug so insects are all exterminated together.  Common herbicides and pesticides are known to kill bees and butterflies. Glyphosate herbicides and neonicotinoid pesticides are especially dangerous.

National Pollinator Week, started by Pollinator.org, attempts to bring understanding to the importance of our ecological brethren no matter who they are.  The idea is to view insects, bees, hummingbirds and even mosquitos through a different lens.  They can be allies in pollinating vegetables, fruit trees, and keeping all the “bad” bugs at bay.

One of the best ways to attract and support pollinators is by planting a variety of wildflowers, flowers, grains, and grasses as well as having water sources around for thirsty beings. Ideally the goal is to balance yards and gardens with enough food, water and healthy productive soil as well as other elements that contribute to a rich, diverse environment.

The Great American Seed Up supports gardeners in their efforts to attract pollinators by offering edible and cut flower mixes guaranteed to usher in pollen dispersers. Zinnia, nasturtiums, Black-eyed Susans, poppies and marigolds not only look gorgeous in your backyard but also function as ambassadors to spur your crops toward robust vegetable and fruit production.

With every purchase of a garden seed bundle between now and Sunday, June 27th, customers will receive the Wildflower PDF Companion Handbook as a thank you for doing their part to support gardens and the pollinators who love them. Planting a variety of flower and vegetable crops and creating gardens that include seed production further attracts an assortment of pollinators. And the gardener will end up with more seed than they can use in a lifetime.

In addition to the Wildflower Companion Handbook, our standard seed bundles include a copy of Basic Seed Saving by Bill McDorman.  The book is an invaluable tool to help gardeners save and grow their own seeds, creating a bio-diverse and regionally adapted garden that attracts and supports local pollinators.

Join our live Seed Chat about “Wildflowers!” on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021.  And save the date for an afternoon of free seed education on Saturday, August 21st when the Great American Seed Up presents the next Seed Up Saturday. Listeners will laugh, they will cry (happy tears) and they will wonder why they haven’t been growing flowers and saving seeds all along. Information about both events is located at GreatAmericanSeedUp.org.