When you visit this year’s Cranfest at the Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Milestone Bog this Saturday, October 11th, please stop in at the Science & Stewardship table. We love to talk about what we do, and share our explorations of the Nantucket natural world!
To share a taste of the scientific research and natural beauty we enjoy daily, this year we’ll be selling a brand new calendar packed with photos of our conservation properties and many of the plants and animals we study and work hard to protect. From New England Cottontails to spotted turtles and horseshoe crabs, colorful wildflowers and winter scenes–it’s all in there! An unusual souvenir or a great gift for a nature lover.
Locally collected native plant seeds will also be available again this year to help you boost the wildlife potential and beauty of your island garden. New this year: peppermint-scented mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum), which we have found to be hardy and deer-resistant in our restoration plantings, and hyssop-leaved boneset (Eupatorium hyssopifolium), a low maintenance plant topped with lacy white flower heads. Both are attractive to butterflies and bees, great for your pollinator garden! Seeds are collected from properties where the plants are abundant, and are a great replacement for non-native plants because they offer food for insects and on up the food chain.
All species of seeds that we offer have been grown out in our research greenhouse, and have been used in restoration plantings, where they have proven to be easy to grow and low maintenance. Seed packets are $5 each. Grasses are also available in a larger size for $10 per packet.
Returning favorites: common milkweed, coastal Joe-Pye weed, sweet goldenrod, Canada (blue) toadflax, golden sickle-leaf aster, pearly everlasting, white-topped toothed aster, goat’s rue, yellow wild indigo, little bluestem, rose mallow, blue flag iris, and switchgrass. Packets of mixed wildflowers: Monarch Meadow Mix, Moist Meadow Mix, and Sandplain Grassland Mix.
Don’t forget–next door to the Science and Stewardship table will be wool from our Squam Farm sheep flock. Pick some up for a project or a gift, and help support our sheep grazing land management program. Like the NCF cranberry bogs, the sheep management program helps the island maintain its agricultural history.
See you Saturday at the Cranberry Festival!