Welcome, Bees and Friends!
For the first few years I owned Rollrock, I grew hay, or rather, I paid people to grow it for me. For reasons too numerous (and depressing) to mention, that did not work out.
About the same time I was learning to hate hay, I was also growing frustrated with charitable giving. I do believe it is important to give back, to an organization or cause that excites passion. Yet year after year of giving, and then giving more, and never really knowing how the funds were spent and not hearing much from the recipient organization except pleas for more donations, well, it was enough to make me want to try "direct action."
Hence, the pollinator project. Pollinators are in serious trouble all over, but in central Oregon in particular. I am devoting ten acres to the creation of pollinator habitat and forage. I got good advice from Apis M and Oregon State's pollinator expert, and a seed mix from my contact at beeandbutterfly.org. The first step is to get rid of the hay, so that new plants have access to sun and nutrients. The seed mix will be no-till drilled into the soil, to avoid disturbing, i.e., "sowing," weed seeds that proliferated last summer.
I am not a fan of burning fields, because in Asia and Central America I have seen (and breathed) the consequences. I also dislike "cides," both herbi and insecti. My experts told me that in this case, were necessary.
Here's the hay field after burning and an application of glyphosate. That's the Three Sisters mountains in the background.
The hope, besides creating a pollinator-friendly oasis, is to develop an inexpensive, tenacious seed mix that land owners in the area can sprinkle about in unused pockets of land, such as irrigation overspray areas. But, first things first. Let's get the seed in the ground and see if it grows.