MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — One-third of all our food in the world is somehow connected to pollinators.
“Without those bees and insects buzzing, we’re not going to have those pickles we enjoy so much in the summertime,” Master Gardener Joyce Wilcox said.
With pollinator populations taking a stark, grim turn for the worse, the state of Minnesota incentivizing the growth of native yards or gardens.
The Lawns to Legumes Program aims to attract pollinators both near and far that are currently struggling to find food.
“A lack of habitat are a dominating factor on why we are losing them and why we are seeing declines in populations. There are other reasons too like pesticides and insecticides, but I think one thing many experts can agree on is the habitat just isn’t there anymore,” explained Becky Buchholz, a farm bill assistant and program technician at Cottonwood Soil and Water Conservation District.
Lawns to Legumes is a reimbursement program, up to $350, in order to help establish a pollinator habitat.
This can include a native pocket garden, pollinator lawn, planting good pollinator trees or shrubs and even implementing a pollinator meadow.
You may not think so, but this has been a pretty controversial topic among neighbors, so be sure to be mindful when going in.
“Come together with your neighbors and come together on it. You don’t need to have a yard that is all six-foot tall prairie grass. You can have one little area, a little four-foot circle where you have tall grasses because they are really beautiful but you have to be tuned in to what your neighbors think and want," Wilcox added.
With native gardens, nature interacts with them much more than a vegetable garden.
Wilcox says just watching them can be a good time.
"It’s so peaceful to see that everything has its order and has its place.”
For more information on the program and what plants to think about implementing in your yard, visit BlueThumbs.org.