Produce, plants and pollinators: Okies for Monarchs coming to Downtown Farmers Market this weekend

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
News alert

On Saturday morning some special guests will be coming to the Ardmore Downtown Farmers Market. The organization Okies for Monarchs will be there all morning, and they have several special events planned including a brief presentation about monarch butterflies, a live demonstration on planting a bed of pollinator plants, an expert on hand to answer questions about milkweed, and numerous plants for sale.

Okies for Monarchs works to ensure thriving monarch butterfly migrations for future generations by educating and supporting Oklahomans about the protection and enhancement of habitat and nectar sources for monarchs as well as other pollinators.

Julie Maher, executive director of the Ardmore Beautification Council, said she was contacted by the organization a couple months ago to see about planning an event in the area.

“They really want to make people in southern Oklahoma aware of what they are doing and hope to get as many people involved as possible,” Maher said. “I know that we have lots of people down here who are very interested in pollinators, monarchs, bee keeping and gardening, and I’m thrilled that Okies for Monarchs are coming.”

Maher said Okies for Monarchs will be selling milkweed and other wildflowers native to the area all morning, but special events are scheduled for 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

At 9 a.m. Vonceil Harmon, a biologist with OK Biological Survey Resources, will be giving a presentation about monarchs, their migration habits and the importance of milkweed to their survival. At 10 a.m. Rebecca Snyder from the Oklahoma City Zoo will be giving a hands on demonstration on planting a bed of pollinator plants. At 11 a.m. Bill Farris, owner of Prairie Wind Nursery in Norman, will be answering questions and addressing some of the myths about milkweed.

“Everyone is welcome to come, watch and participate with us,” Maher said. “They’ll be planting the demonstrator bed in one of our downtown raised planter beds on Washington, and it will be really interesting to see what all they plant. Hopefully it will be a beautiful day, but even if it’s not bring your raincoat and your windbreaker, and come out anyway. After all, it takes all kinds of weather to grow plants.”

Okies for Monarchs will be at the Ardmore Downtown Farmers Market, located at 106 E. Broadway, from 7:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 5. Representatives from Ardmore Beautification Council and Carter County Master Gardeners will also be there to answer any questions about plants and planting.