The Long Island Conservancy had the honor of being selected by Destination Unknown Brewery (DubCo) to come to speak about the importance of native wildflowers as part of their environmentally conscious “For Science” speakers series. We spoke at their brewery in Bayshore April 8th.
DubCo’s Paul Brandel offered us The Grand Tour. Brewing is indeed a science, and here was their lab. Pumps, filters, fermenters, metal pipes and tubes, an orderly chaos.
This ‘laboratory’ performs experiments continuously, inventing new, innovative beers, all in the name of science of course. I had a Four Corners Farmhouse Ale and a Hazy Escape session IPA. We forgot to ask if the hops was native / locally sourced. We will assume yes!
In this video still, I am either trying to evoke John Travolta or Andy Kaufman, much to the alarm of Frank, who came for the science and to talk about native wildflowers.
Luckily, Frank was able to step in to offer some focus and structure.
We had a smallish, but mostly rapt audience. For Saturday at 1 PM, it worked. We filmed the whole talk, which was by all accounts well received. Of course, that could have been the beer or even the wildflowers talking. In any case, we are now editing the hour long talk for Youtube, etc.
We discussed the importance of planting native plants, how without them our local critters starve. Non-natives are not food for our insects, so their numbers decrease drastically. They may even be driven to extinction for lack of native plants and insects. One only needs to consider how the monarch butterfly’s population has collapse and consider why: Milkweed used to be everywhere, but not in today’s manicured artificial lawns.
This meadow of butterfly milkweed drew 40 monarchs at once less than a year after planting.
We made sure to bring a lot of native wildflower seeds, harvested by the local high school environmental club in Sayville this last fall.
Those jars full of seeds are transformative. This is what they look like when grown:
We very much look forward to the next occasion when we and DubCo can team up and talk native plants and creating habitat for local wildlife, even in our own yards! We will bring more native wildflower seeds!