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Seed Mixing day

Woolgrass

Common Wood Reed

Common wood reed

November 20 was the long-awaited seed mixing day for the Kane County forest preserve. Every Wednesday from September through October I met with the regular seed team volunteers and the Kane County staff at various forest preserves to gather seeds. I learned how to identify various plants and seeds (like Snakeweed and Monarda).

I met the seed team volunteers and Kane Co Forest staff at Aurora West Forest Preserve. We mixed the seed in the white barns. Afterwards, we enjoyed a potluck lunch in the little farmhouse. I brought one of my “friendship” breads I made earlier this year. Surprisingly, the dessert was a hit.

The seed mixing process was fairly simple. The seeds had already been separated from the chaff. We volunteers grabbed a bag of seeds (already labeled) and one of the staff members directed us on the % of the seed to be mixed into various containers for wet, dry, meso prairie or woodland.


half dry -- half meso prairie

The author holding her bags of seeds

Staff members with volunteer

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Wednesday the eleventh, I participated in my first prairie burn. Although I stood by at the back of the field with my rack at-the-ready, I mostly observed and photographed the proceedings. It was interesting how the burn was organized. The wind was moving in from the east, northeast. I thought we would start at the east, northeast corner of the field which was adjacent to a corn field that we needed to protect. The experts, however, had us start burning at the western edge of the prairie, burning down both sides and moving to the center. This way we avoided getting the fire too big (so the wind gust wouldn’t feed the fire). Check out my flicker photos.