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A Makeover for Milkweed, for the Sake of Butterflies

August 02, 2018 |

This article was originally published on The Washington Post

“For generations, North American farmers have despised milkweed and done their best to rid their lands of it. “I hate to have milkweed in my strawberry field,” Nathalie Leonard says from her farm by the Quebec village of Lac-du-Cerf.So why does she have 60 acres of milkweed growing on purpose? It’s for the sake of butterflies — the iconic monarchs. And for a chance to turn milkweed into profit.

“Every weed,” she says, “is only a weed because it’s in the wrong place.” Leonard and her partners in Monark, a co-operative of farmers through Quebec and into Vermont, hope milkweed now has found its rightful place in their fields.

Intrigued by the notion of helping to restore the sinking population of monarch butterflies — and persuaded by the stirrings of a new market — these farmers began clearing land or ripping out cash crops and turning precious acres over to a plant they’d previously seen as a nuisance…”

Read on at: The Washington Post.

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