Hello from the Hedgerow!
This is the first post of a monthly series of updates from the farm’s native hedgerow. Here you’ll find news on upcoming projects, new plants and even some nature trivia (Who doesn’t love trivia?). So, here is your first question: What is a native hedgerow? Hedgerows date back to the earliest sands of time, being noted in Roman times. Hedgerows are typically used as field liners and are made up of various trees, plants, and shrubs. In our case, this means plenty of native plants like Coyote Brush (Baccharis pilularis), California Fuchsia (Epilobium canum), and California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica).
There are a plethora of benefits to a native hedgerow (yes, a plethora!). Here are only a few:
- It acts as a natural buffer from air pollution and sound pollution. Being the “farm by the freeway” has many benefits and obstacles. This helps our farm staff and farm fields breathe a little easier.
- It benefits wildlife and fosters biodiversity. This includes animals, insects, plants, fungi, etc. Think of it as its own ecosystem within the farm. One particular benefit is its ability to attract pollinators (talking to you, honeybee).
- It’s better for our health. Native plants are specially designed to thrive in our climate. This means that they do not require pesticides or additional watering. The absence of pesticide means less toxins in the air. There’s no need to list the benefits of using less water- the drought has been a hot topic this year!
So here’s your second question: where is the hedgerow? It runs along the outlaying perimeters of the farm. If you’ve ever looked out from the field, you’re probably looking at the hedgerow. Or, looking at a peacock that is squawking from the hedgerow (No, it is not a loud cat. I can confirm it is a peacock).
The hedgerow is one of the most understated beauties to our farm. We all benefit from it in some way especially because we’re all part of the same eco-system. If you ever need a break from the workday, please take some time to walk along the hedgerow. There are sweet signs that highlight aspects of the hedgerow. I always learn something new or find a new nature mystery when I walk the row!
So here’s your first nature mystery: Can you name this plant?
Thank you for reading. Hope to see you in the row!
Sophia – Farm Intern