Sunday, September 29, 2013

Big News on the Prairie!

Today's purchase from Pleasant Hill Farm, near Deary, ID:  Indian paintbrush (check out that bloom!), Idaho fescue starts (for companion planting with the paintbrush), Arrowleaf balsamroot, Tapertip penstemon, Missouri goldenrod, Western hawkweed, Prairie smoke, Purple sticky geranium, and Roundleaf alumroot.  

I have never gotten a grant for my work as a musician.  People have gotten grants for me to compose/record/perform music for them, or for their work including my music, but I have never gotten anywhere writing a grant.  So, it was a surprise when I got a call a month ago from Jennifer Boie at the Palouse Conservation District, asking me if I would like to apply for a grant for my work restoring my 2.5 acres of Palouse prairie.  Back in June a team from the PCD had come out here to see what I was doing with my prairie, so they were aware of this project, but I certainly never expected that anyone would actually help me with it.

I figured--what the heck--they knew what I was doing and thought it was worthy of an application, so I followed through.  And...I actually got the grant!  This is $2K worth of support!  I am required to work for 50 hours (I will probably put in many times that amount), but I can go out and buy some plants!  Besides the haul above, I ordered a bunch of seeds from Thorn Creek Native Seeds (in Genessee, ID), a bunch of plants from Plants of the Wild in Tekoa, WA, and BFI Native Seeds in Moses Lake, WA (who I never would have known about if folks at the PCD hadn't informed me about them) put together 15 pounds of a mix of four native grass species, not just those species, but the particular subtypes from this region of the Palouse.  I still have my big box of native plant seeds I've collected over the last year to plant as well.

I'm a little overwhelmed, but between planting all of this stuff in the next month or so, and whatever I purchase and plant next Spring, I will have mostly finished planting this prairie.  I will choose a new "standard view" for this project so I can show how things change in the southern part of the prairie as a result of this massive planting.  Stay tuned!