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Nov 21

November Hedgerow Workshop

Posted on November 21, 2023 at 9:16 AM by Gracie DeMeo

On November 11th, 35 Pierce County Residents including local farmers, staff from NCRS (Natural Resources Conservation Services), community members, and a few moral-support dogs attended a hedgerow planting at Helsing Junction. Though the day was rainy and muddy, that didn't stop everyone's hard work or the positive atmosphere. At the end of the day's work, the entire 500 foot strip was filled with beautiful native plants, which will help provide foraging and nesting habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects.  As if it wanted to reward everyone's efforts, the sun even poked through the clouds towards the end.

People work on planting at the hedgerow strip, while a dog sits looking outwards to the sideWhile people work on the hedgerow strip, a good dog sits on guard

Farmers Angie and Jess explained that one of the goals of this project was to create a windbreak for nearby crops. Additionally, the hedgerow would serve as a habitat for pollinators, providing flowering plants, nesting, and overwintering sites. Pollinators aren't the only creatures that benefit from this installation. Beneficial insects such as predators and parasites of pesky crop pests could also flourish in the hedgerow habitat. The project was planned and completed using a WSU extension hedgerow template and the SARE template for herbaceous perennials. More hedgerow templates are currently being developed including native plants for wet soil, flower farmers, and dual-purpose harvestable hedgerows.

This project's work started back in August of this year with preparation work like disking and landscape fabric laying. By the end of this workshop, the hedgerow strip was filled with 919 shrubs and 1040 flowering plants and grasses, which included plant such as tall Oregon grape, nootka rose, snowberry, yarrow, Douglas aster, blue wild rye, and Roemer's fescue. Once everything was in the ground, volunteers added mulch to the strip, to increase water retention. Thanks to these volunteers' efforts, Helsing Junction Farm has a new hedgerow strip that will improve the quality of life for flora and fauna alike!

This project was a collaborative effort between Pierce and Thurston Conservation District, Native Plant Salvage, Xerces Society, and the WSU Puyallup Extension Center. We extend gratitude to all partners and volunteers who made this work possible! We especially thank a staff member from the Xerces Society who made the journey from Portland to join us on the 11th for this important work. 

Are you interested in installing a pollinator hedgerow on your farm? We may have funding available to assist. Contact our farm team to learn more about the resources we have available to get you started!

A picture of the strip of dirt before and after the hedgerow native plant plantings

"Hedgerow project"? More like "Hedgewow project"!