Farming and gardening is a rich part of our North Carolina heritage that has seen many changes in practices since the time of the Cherokees.
10:00-noon projects in heritage garden
1:00-2:00 cleanup of certified wildlife habitat behind Discovery Center, inlcudes invasive species removal
1:00-2:00 cleanup in seedling nursery and planting of cowpeas (come and find out “why cowpeas?”)
2:00 catapulting/slingshotting of native pollinator seed bombs (this is MakeYour Own Slingshot or BYOS).
3:00-3:45 “Why are we letting the grass grow?” presentation on the Cradle of Forestry lawn to meadow conversions
4:00 Visit to our monarch waystation; Q&A with staff on host and nectar plants for monarchs
The Cafe’ at the Cradle is open daily from 11am-3pm.
National Wildlife Federation “Backyard Habitat”
Native wildflowers, small shrubs and a tadpole pond are included in this small habitat. Taking care of this area on Garden Day involves removing any large fallen limbs, invasive, and non-native plants. Take a peek at the pond and see if you can spot our resident green frog!
Certifying your own backyard wildlife habitat is easy! There are five things you should include in your backyard habitat: food, water, cover, places to raise young, and sustainable practices. Find out more at “Garden for Wildlife.”
Livestock in the Blue Ridge Mountains were a primary source of income for many families. Herds of pigs or turkeys were taken to market via the Draw Road that connected the Pink Beds community to the Greenville area. Sustenance farming’s purpose provided enough food to feed the family.
Gardening practices and seed varieties were carried down from Cherokee tradition, while others were brought with European settlers. Today the Cradle carries on some of these traditions in the heritage garden. We work with our Cafe at the Cradle to provide seasonal veggies available on the menu.
Tasks in the garden on this day include planting starts, seeds, and herbs, spreading straw, and watering.
Monarch Watch is dedicated toward research, conservation and education of monarch butterflies. Monarchs are the only species of butterfly in the world who migrate as far they do. You too can be apart of this conservation effort by installing a Monarch Waystation in your yard or at your school. Waystations grow food and nectar sources as well as host plants for caterpillars and monarchs. It doesn’t take much to get your waystation started nor is a lot of space needed. Visit the Cradle’s waystation to learn more and help us with a few tasks needed in maintaining this garden.
The Cradle’s effort to convert traditionally mowed areas to meadow sites highlights the impacts our mowed lawns have on pollinators. Since the conversion, we have witnessed an increase in pollinator species and native plant species, such as monarchs and lady’s tresses orchids. We have also reduced labor and emissions from lawn mowers and weed eaters by allowing these areas to grow naturally. This effort has experienced push back and emphasized the need for communication. At the lawn-to-meadow presentation you will learn more about our successes and challenges in these conversion areas.