Green Hills: Seeding the meadows

April 22, 2016

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager

Happy Earth Day! Sometimes we plant something other than trees…

We have been at Green Hills all week seeding meadows. We’re enjoying adding locally-collected seeds of pollinator species to the mix that goes in the hopper; Aubrey and and feel like chefs: a pinch of this, a handful of that…

Aubrey has been driving the tractor for four days straight (we decided not to seed today because rain was forecast). We’re about half finished the 90 acres. She needs to keep track of where she’s been by looking at the no-till scratches in the fields, most of which were in soybeans last year and are just sprouting the first weeds of spring (the field in the foreground below was already planted as a ¬†meadow). I can tell you just how mentally exhausting that is.

Wait, you can’t see Aubrey and the tractor in the photo below?


Let’s zoom in a little: see that speck against the wood edge? This should give you an idea of the vast acreage we’re dealing with. Visible in this photo is maybe one quarter of the site.

Photo with magnifier

And here she is, much closer.


Every hour or more she checks the hoppers for seed (we’re planting a cover crop of oats as well as a mix of native grasses and wildflowers). I bring enough bags of seed for the day in the truck and meet the tractor to fill the hoppers as needed.

In between fill-ups (diesel too) I am doing a blitz of projects: a few strategic invasive management projects (brush cutting and spraying), mowing trails, and fixing a boardwalk.

This meadow will take about a year and a half to mature. We’re really excited about the grassland habitat it will create!