June 18-24 was Pollinator Week! We had no idea, but by the end of the week we had added some beautiful pollinator plants – a boon to butterflies and bees as well as to our orchard.

We planted the first area of the garden on Wednesday – a memorial garden for a beloved teacher, Laurel Davis, who showed her love for birds, flowers, and students every day she brought her students to the Farm to School Hub. Friends and staff contributed a Bay Laurel tree in her honor as well as some colorful flowering plants.

laurel's garden

On Thursday, Mark van Soestbergen brought some milkweed, as well as nectar plants, to create a habitat for Monarch butterflies and their caterpillars to thrive while stopping in Gainesville  during the Great Monarch Migration.  Mark assisted the Growing Education Training students in planting as well as building protective structures for the caterpillars to create chrysalises and complete their metamorphosis into the next generation of Monarchs. GET students will track the caterpillars and record which structure offers the best results. Vising students on field trips from around the county will be able to learn from their work. And it will be contributing to overall scientific knowledge of the habits of these amazing creatures.

mark and student

chrysalis structures

Laurel would have loved this.


Laurel Davis, Speaker of Truth, Lover of Nature, Mentor to Many