30 April 2008

Larrapin gets certified!

Guinea fowl problems notwithstanding, Larrapin got certified as Backyard Wildlife Habitat this Spring.

It's a fun program through the National Wildlife Federation that helps you evaluate your site for wildlife-friendly plants, practices and features such as food, shelter, nectar, water, etc. As of last year, we've focused on adding trees and shrubs that attract wildlife, maintaining consistent and varied bird feeding stations, sticking to organic practices, letting part (ok, most) of the lawn grow longer, providing water basins and bird baths around the place.... and so on. And WOW, has it paid off!

This year we've seen more birds and critters than ever. The birds have been amazing: summer tanagers, indigo buntings, grosbeaks, every woodpecker listed for our area, finches, robins, you name it. We've added about a half-dozen to our list of species sighted at Larrapin.

We're just getting started on this edible landscaping idea. (Larrapin Garden extends that theme to edible to many birds and critters in addition to ourselves...) It's amazing. I've combined my study of wildlife gardening with a new interest in permaculture principles and my head is just about to explode with new ideas and plans for Larrapin.


kate smudges said...

Congratulations! That is a great accomplishment. Of course your mention of the guinea fowls had me scrolling down to see them. Oops... they don't sound like the greatest workers to have in the garden. At least you discovered their tendency to eat new shoots and ripe tomatoes, before any major calamities occurred.

It was enjoyable reading about the Natural Gardener nursery and seeing your pictures. I loved the donkey pics!

Bonnie said...

Congratulations. What a great thing to have to recognize your efforts.

Kathleen said...

Congratulation on getting your yard certified. My parents just got theirs also and were pretty excited. I really enjoyed the photos of your visit to the Natural Gardener Nursery too. It looks like a fantastic place.

A Gardener At Larrapin said...

Thanks for stopping by Larrapin Kate, Bonnie and Kathleen! The certification has been great fun. I hope to teach a community class this fall on getting backyards certified as a way to increase interest in wildlife gardening. Thanks for the kind feedback!