Why Locally-Sourced, Locally-Grown Native Plants Matter

Have you visited your local farmer’s market lately or picked up your weekly allotment at a CSA?   If you are a locavore, like so many of us, you might be asking some pretty specific questions of your suppliers when you are vetting your food choices, such as: Where was this food grown? How far is…

Read More

Exploring Prairies & River Corridors at the Chicago Botanic Garden

When you think of Chicago, do deep dish pizzas and high winds come to mind?   How about prairies, river corridors and a do-not-miss botanical garden?  The Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG) is one of our great public gardens, self-described as a 385-acre living plant museum with 26 display gardens and many natural habitats, including the Dixon…

Read More

Going Pesticide-Free for Pollinators at The Farm Between

This past August, I took a road trip to one of my favorite states, Vermont, where lots of good things are happening with organic and pesticide-free landscapes and nursery production.  One of my stops was “The Farm Between” in pastoral Jeffersonville, Vermont.  This is one of the oldest farms in the area, dating back to…

Read More

20 Resolutions for the EcoBeneficial Landscape

It’s that time of year to make your resolutions for 2015.  Don’t forget to include your landscape!  Here are 20 resolutions to get you started toward a healthier ecosystem: 1) Reduce or eliminate the “Green Desert” (turf/lawn). Exotic turf grass is an ecological wasteland.  When replacing lawn, don’t replace one monoculture with another.  Plant diversely…

Read More

Tasty Natives: Pawpaw (Asimina trioloba)

As fall planting winds down, consider whether you might have one more spot for a tasty native plant.  It’s a great way to add an ecological boost to your landscape, while growing something unusual that you can eat.  Edible native plantings help connect us with the ecosystems around us, and are a powerful way to…

Read More

Fall Checklist for the EcoBeneficial Landscape

Now that fall is here, is your landscape in good order?  Following some simple steps can prevent or lessen the impacts of a harsh winter, and lay the groundwork for best results in the spring. 1) If you have plants to be planted, get busy.  Newly-planted plants should be in the ground 6 to 8…

Read More

Eco-Lessons from the Farm: GMO Corn & Pollinators

EcoBeneficial! went on a working vacation to Vermont this summer and visited some organic farms, including River Berry Farm in Fairfax, Vermont.  After you finish this post watch my short video interview with organic farmer and pollinator advocate, Jane Sorensen, co-owner of River Berry Farm, to pick up some tips. My encounters with forward thinking…

Read More

Fall Planting With Woodies – Native Trees & Shrubs

Some of our most ecologically-important native plants are trees and shrubs (aka woodies).  They provide critical structure and ecological function to our landscapes.  Some are early pollen sources for hungry bees, some have fruits, nuts or seeds for birds and mammals, some are host plants for butterflies, some are nesting sites for songbirds, and some,…

Read More