Durham College’s Centre for Food pollinator garden springs to life

Here’s some food for thought: without the aid of pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other insects capable of spreading pollen from one plant to the next, a majority of our food source will die off. Not to mention, the lush, green environment we’ve grown accustomed to would falter.

That’s why Field to Fork, Durham College’s (DC) crowd-sourced fundraising initiative, raised funds in August 2014 to create a pollinator garden at the Centre for Food (CFF) with the goal of increasing pollinators at the CFF and in Durham Region.

This summer, the project received a boost from Dutchmaster Nurseries, a family-run business located in Brougham, Ont. Dutchmaster delivered a variety of shrubs and trees to the garden, such as serviceberry, winterberry and flowering currants. Students began populating the garden with the donated plants, and added in St. John’s wart and barrier foliage to create a semi-enclosed sanctuary for the bees and butterflies.

The pollinator garden does more than provide a safe haven for pollinators. It also provides learning opportunities for students in the Horticulture – Food and Farming and Horticulture Technician programs, where they can hone their horticulture and pruning skills and practice plant identification. The plants in the garden will also provide berries for harvest and will help increase the crop yield in the gardens at the CFF.

“The donation of these plants from Dutchmaster Nurseries, will provide our students with hands on learning opportunities in horticulture, provide pollinators a habitat to thrive and will give our fruit producing crops a much appreciated boost,” said Shane Jones, professor, School of Science, Engineering & Technology. “On top of all that it provides us with a beautiful garden of native wildflowers!”

To learn more and support this venture, visit the Pollinator Garden project page.