Growing Good Podcast #80: Sara Wittenberg, gardener and biologist

Sara Wittenberg Talks About Pollinators and How to Build a Pollinator Garden

by Allison Lemons

Pollinator Week is June 17-23, 2024. Without pollinators, we wouldn’t have food, making pollinators an essential link in the food system. You, as a gardener or farmer, have a role to play here. Gardener and biologist Sara Wittenberg talks with podcast host Lisa Munniksma about how and why we should be caring for our pollinators, including how to build a pollinator garden.

Learn about the Pollinator Partnership nonprofit and the work they’re doing to protect pollinators and prevent habitat loss, from educating gardeners and farmers to working on policies and supplying research grants. Sara may surprise you as she reveals who all of our pollinators are—not only honey bees, for sure!

More than 85% of U.S. households have outdoor living space, and Sara points out that even container gardens planted with pollinator habitat can make a difference! Hear about various pollinator initiatives happening in Arkansas and beyond that you can become involved in: the Project Wingspan effort to make native ecotype seeds more available to land stewards, NRCS programs to connect biologists with landowners for free advice and potential funding assistance, and all that the Pollinator Partnership offers. Sara explains the Bee Friendly Gardening program that she manages, which includes helping people learn how to build a pollinator garden. You can join the program to help them reach their goal of 1,000 Bee Friendly Gardeners by the end of 2024!

Sara lets us in on a new program—the first time she’s mentioned it to the public—the Bee Friendly Gardening badge system. Harkening back to your scout days, you can earn up to six badges to show your pollinator prowess.

For listeners growing on a commercial level, Bee Friendly Farming is an actual certification program that allows Bee Friendly Farmers to use the logo on their packaging.

Subscribe now

Keep listening to learn about Sara’s own native-plant garden in her suburban Arkansas backyard. Milkweed, asters, black-eyed Susans, phlox and more turn her small outdoor space into a palette of colors throughout the seasons.

Keep listening for Sara’s best advice for how to build a pollinator garden on your own land, backyard or balcony. (Hint: The Pollinator Partnership’s garden recipe cards can help get you started.)

Links from this episode:

Bee Friendly Gardening website

Pollinator Partnership website

Native plants in your region


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *