Certified Monarch Waystation
Queens Farm supports the migration and conservation of monarch butterflies as a Certified Monarch Waystation.
Native to North and South America, monarch butterflies are known for their bright orange and black wings which serve as a warning to predators. They are one of the most recognizable species of butterflies in the world, and are celebrated for their two-way migration cycle that happens every year.
As the weather gets cooler, these butterflies begin to leave their breeding grounds to go someplace warmer. This is why every autumn season eastern monarch butterflies migrate from North America (northeastern United States and Canada) down to Mexico. When they’ve reached their destination, the group – also known as a “flutter” – stay close together and take shelter on oyamel fir trees where they wait out the entire winter.
Monarch butterflies rely on milkweed plants and nectar from flowers to help them along their journey. The milkweed plant is significant because it provides shelter for the female monarch butterfly’s eggs and it is the only food source eaten by monarch caterpillars.
As a Certified Monarch Waystation, Queens Farm grows plants that provide necessary food sources and habitat to help these butterflies thrive. Our perennial flowers and herbs support monarch butterfly conservation by ensuring that they are able to reproduce and migrate. Queens Farm is dedicated to creating and maintaining a Monarch Waystation to help assure the continuation of monarch migration and to protect the species.
Milkweed and nectar sources are declining due to human impacts – mowing, development, use of pesticides and herbicides, and climate change. This means that monarch butterflies have a difficult time finding food and habitat, causing their population to decline. Offsetting the loss of these important resources is crucial to preserve the species and their extraordinary migration pattern. Queens Farm cultivates milkweed plants in our perennial border around our main growing field and in our children’s garden.