SIDNEY — The Shelby SWCD will again be an official collection site this year for the statewide pod collection effort supporting the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative. Milkweed is the only host plant for the Monarch butterfly for egg laying and caterpillar rearing. It also serves as a food source for Monarchs as well as many other pollinator species. The disappearance of milkweed across the U.S. has contributed to the 80% decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years. Officials are working hard to change this, and residents can help.
To collect the seed pods from a milkweed plant it is best to pick them when they are dry, gray or brown in color. If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be picked. Make sure that before you collect seed, you become familiar with the common milkweed to avoid harvesting pods from similar plants such as hemp dogbane and swamp milkweed. It is best to collect pods into paper bags and put the date and county collected on the bag. Avoid using plastic bags because they attract moisture. Store seeds in a cool, dry area until you can deliver to Shelby SWCD. Visit http://www.ophi.info/ for more information on this initiative.
Please note that the collection bin is in the main entrance hallway outside of the office at 822 Fair Road Sidney, Ohio. For more information please call the Shelby SWCD at 937-492-6520, ext. 3.