This year, Blandford Farm applied for a micro grant from Slow Food of West Michigan. We proposed to use funding to turn a section of land on the farm into a native plant agricultural ecosystem. Our goal is relatively simple: remove some of the scrub plants that had taken over the space, and plant native trees, wild flowers and mushrooms in their place.
We have chosen to plant trees that are listed in the Ark of Taste guide:
Michigan Paw Paw
Interspersed in the tree-scape, we hope to cultivate the Wood Blewit and Bleu Foot mushrooms. These native mushrooms are related (known as the Clitocybe Cousins) and prefer wooded areas where they can grow undisturbed. This makes them ideal companion plants for a grove of trees. We will sow a native wildflower seed mix in the space so that while the trees are growing and there is a lot of available sun, there will be increased habitat and food sources for native pollinators. Once the trees begin to mature, the wildflowers will be pushed to the edges of the space, as the available sun will decrease.
Part of the intention for this space is to have an educational component to it. Stay tuned for opportunities to learn about agro-ecosystems, and how you can turn your own backyard into an edible native plant paradise!
Currently, this is what the space looks like: