Our garden here at Albright is home to a special plant that many consider a weed and oftentimes remove. Milkweed! Milkweed is home to the monarch butterfly as they are quite picky with where they will lay eggs. During their larval stage as a monarch caterpillar, plants in the milkweed family are the only plants that they will feast upon after consuming their own eggshell. Fun fact, milkweed has a poisonous toxin in it that is stored inside of the caterpillar’s body upon consumption which gives monarch butterflies a foul taste, warding away predators. Also, monarchs are known for their incredible migration pattern; they leave from North America in large groups in early fall to mate, lay eggs, and die in Mexico. That generation then migrates north and repeats the process that the generation before them had done in the spring. Unfortunately, with people removing milkweed because it is a “weed”, monarchs have less area to lay their eggs.
If any of you have a yard or garden plot, plant some milkweed seeds in the fall, they’ll experience winter, and then they’ll come up in the spring. You can also go to your local plant nursery to find milkweed. For more information on how to care for your own milkweed to help out the monarch population, check out this site http://www.ourhabitatgarden.org/creatures/milkweed-growing.html. Hopefully we can harvest some milkweed seeds soon! Here’s a helpful video on how to collect your own milkweed seeds https://youtu.be/gooT4cMyaTg.
Recipe of the Week
Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Chives
- 3 large potatoes, washed
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 ¼ cups pouring cream
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 200 C.
- Boil potatoes till tender, about 15 minutes.
- Drain, cut in half, place in baking dish cut side up.
- Whisk together sour cream, cream, cheeses, chives, salt and pepper.
- Pour over potatoes.
- Cook 20 – 30 minutes until top is golden.
Additional Facts on Milkweed: