Journal Entry: Bee City USA Gold Hill, Ore.

Lee Finney shared this account of recent Bee City USA Gold Hill activities.

At the beginning of October I attended a Can Do meeting and requested volunteer help in creating a ‘Pollinator Habitat’ garden alongside the Rogue River in Gold Hill, Oregon. Can Do is the community nonprofit that sponsored Gold Hill as the 26th Bee City USA affiliate this past July. We are following in the bee steps of Talent, Ashland, and Phoenix, our sister pollinator friendly cities in Southern Oregon. 

October was turning out to be very rainy, so I kept an eye on the weather and announced our planting day just 2 days in advance. Ten people (and the sun) showed up at 10am with tools, gloves, wheelbarrows, and a eagerness to help our pollinators. We created gardens and paths with the river rock that was nearby.

To reward my volunteers I served up bowls of homemade vegetable lentil soup for well deserved lunch break. After lunch we spread more soil and then broadcast 1000’s of seeds over the newly created garden areas. We then stomped on the seeds to make sure they had good contact with the soil.

The seeds had been harvested from my own pollinator friendly gardens. I grew a mix of herbs and flowers which included some natives. Seeds included were Aster, Echinacea, Shasta, Oregon Sunshine, Agastache, Coyote Mint, Calendula, Bee Balm, Lavender, Oregano, Catnip, Marigolds, Penstemon, Goldenrod, Poppies, Thyme, Zinnia, and Phacelia.

Got milkweed? Yes! After convincing a landowner not to mow down her field of Showy and Narrow Leaf Milkweed, I and another volunteer harvested seed pods, with permission, from her property. We all had fun letting this large quantity of seed fly from our hands and land wherever, just helping out Mother Nature.

The garden will start blooming in Spring and will continue on throughout the Fall, providing host and nectar sources for butterflies, bees, moths, and all insects. It is my hope that this easy seed sown demonstration garden will inspire others in Gold Hill to do the same in their own yards.

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