OK In Health - Glorious Garden Gems

How to attract butterflies to your garden year-round - February 2019

By Lindsay Coulter

butterfly

Want to help butterflies? Think beyond providing flowers for nectar in the height of summer.

Many butterfly species we see in Canada don't migrate. You can provide habitat and food for their entire lifecycle — eggs, larvae, pupae AND adults — throughout the year. You'll need:

Host plants: Adults need a place to lay eggs where their caterpillars will forage. (Plant species that will get eaten and not just look pretty!)

Mud puddles: Some butterflies rarely visit flowers. They prefer mud, poop (a.k.a. "scat" or "dung"), sap and rotting fruit.

Blooms from spring through fall: Don't limit your garden to an end-of-July colour extravaganza. You'll need a diversity of native nectar plants to flower over a few months.

Overwintering habitat: Consider not raking leaves to provide a butterfly nursery! Most butterflies in Canada overwinter as caterpillars, others as pupae. A few species winter as adults, hibernating in hollow trees, under bark and firewood piles, or in garden shed cracks and crevices. Few spend winter as eggs.

Sunshine: Make sure you (or your neighbours) have sunny spots.

Nectar plants: Most butterflies will feed from more than a few plant species.

Think about the role of your yard: Is it a habitat source (high quality patch that supports population increases)? Or is it more of an island? Some yards can provide for one butterfly species' entire life cycle. Some are disconnected from other habitat patches. Walk around the block and view your neighbourhood through a butterfly's eyes. Chat with your neighbours and see what they're planting. Note possible connecting corridors between butterfly-friendly patches. Can schoolyards, boulevards and local green spaces where you live help support butterflies?

Get to know native butterfly species: Not every person in Canada can create monarch butterfly habitat (e.g., they aren't native to Vancouver Island).

 

 

What will you do this season to help butterflies?

Sincerely, 
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

For more great tips from Lindsay check out her blog 




Lindsay  Coulter Lindsay 's Bio: David Suzuki's Queen of Green, Lindsay Coulter, answers your green living questions and offers tips and recipes to make your life easier on the environment. It's all about green living made easy. Continue the conversation: read Queen of Green blog - Lindsay Coulter Website


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Wellness Tip
Salad Dressing Calorie Control
Many people are eating more salads to boost vegetable consumption. However, drowning greens in high fat salad dressings can put a dent in your fat budget. If you regularly enjoy adding salads to your lunch or dinner, consider trying this way of applying the dressing. Place just 1-2 tablespoons of salad dressing in a large zip-lock bag or airtight container. Fill with salad, seal, and shake away! A small amount of dressing will lightly coat your greens and vegetables.


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Roasted Butternut Squash Polenta with Fried Sage
Category: Vegetarian Entrees
Description: Roasting caramelizes the sugars and brings out the sweetness of the tender chunks of butternut squash that punctuate this golden yellow polenta casserole. It is finished off with the herbal overtones of butter-browned sage. We like this squash because it's easier to peel and cut compared with some squash. Marked by a tan exterior, the interior is a bright, rich orange. The butternut's flesh is less "stringy" than many squash making it perfect for purees and efficient cubes.

¦Butternut squash contains many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins. Similar to other cucurbitaceae members, it is very low in calories; provides just 45 cal per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is rich source of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients. Squash is one of the common vegetable that is often recommended by dieticians in the cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

¦It has more vitamin A than that in pumpkin. At 10630 IU per 100 g, it is perhaps the single vegetable source in the cucurbitaceae family with highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 354% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for vision. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A helps body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.

¦Furthermore, butternut squash has plentiful of natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds like a and ß-carotenes, cryptoxanthin-ß, and lutein. These compounds convert to vitamin A inside the body and deliver same protective functions of vitamin A on the body.

¦It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.

¦It has similar mineral profile as pumpkin, containing adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

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