Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hedgerows at UBC Farm

I am very excited about the hedgerows at UBC Farm and their potential to provide much needed forage for the exotic honeybees and the native bees on site. This is what they looked like two weeks ago when I visited the farm.

Yesterday I headed out to the farm with an herbalist. She was equally excited about the medicinal plants in the hedgerows.

Most of the flowers and are finished for the season, but other plants around the hedge like clover, dandelion, yarrow and vetch are important fall bee forage. These are also considered hedgerow plants in the old sense of it not being literally a row of hedges, but also the plants that exist in the borders between fields.

One of the saddest losses in the development of Wesbrook village was the decimation of many hedgerow plants along with a chunk of forest. I have written extensively in my blog about the birds and insects that lived in that habitat. It's too bad those bushes couldn't have been replanted at the farm. Condominiums and baseball diamonds just don't feed bees, or humans for that matter.

These hawthorn berries give me hope that some day hedgerows will be an essential part of every farm, garden and park.

Hedgerows provide materials for garden fencing, nutrient dense food for birds, humans and bees, as well as shelter for song bird nests.

This bamboo could be replaced by hazelnut. Just a suggestion.

There are many native plants that are suitable for hedgerows and once established, they look after themselves.

Using ground covers like kinnikinnik and salal prevents the need for mulch and provides some undisturbed soil for  ground-nesting bees.

We heart hedgerows! Now if only we had some cute little hedgehogs to spread the word.

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