Though this isn't specifically a food story, it is a Kansas story. What we grow and how we treat our lawns and soil affects us in many ways. Therefore, I wanted to share this information from Arnold's Greenhouse. The Tall Grass Prairie once covered 140 million acres of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. This is "where the buffalo roamed" and "the deer and the antelope played." Today, only 4% of the original Tall Grass Prairie remains and of that portion, 70% of it is in Kansas.
From an Arnold's Greenhouse brochure:
Beginning in Spring 2012, We will be offering a prairie plant collection of native grasses and wildflowers for you! This "Taste of the Tall Grass Prairie" includes six different native grasses and twelve different native wildflowers. The collection includes one jumbo six pack (like what we grow our strawberry and sweet potato plants in) of each plant. Thus, you will receive a total of 108 plants. Provided there are no germination failures, we will have six plants of each of the 18 varieties in the collection.
Planting all 108 plants will cover approximately 200 square feet, when planted 16 inches apart. Like all plants, they will need two or three years to fill in the space you have given them in the garden.
We are not wanting you to replace existing flower beds with a "Taste of the Tall Grass Prairie"; you have worked hard to establish those beds, so leave them and enjoy them! Rather, most of us have way too much lawn to mow. A 10 ft. by 20 ft area converted from a boring lawn to a "Taste of the Tall Grass Prairie" will benefit the environment and our children. You will even want to hum a few bars of "Home on the Range"... "Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam..." Well, maybe you won't be humming "Home on the Range," but the butterflies will!
Arnold's will donate 10% of every native plant collection purchased to local schools to be used for teaching ecology.
Arnold's Greenhouse 1430 Hwy 57 S.E. LeRoy, KS 66857
Spring HoursMarch, April, and May
Monday through Saturday 9am - 7:30pm
Closed on Sundays.