Tractor tilling the soil near Brinkman Road for bees and butterflies | Jane Boursaw Photo
Tilling the soil near Brinkman Road for bees and butterflies | Jane Boursaw Photo
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I love it when Old Mission Peninsula farmers start tilling up the soil this time of year, and then all the seagulls flock behind them to pick up snacks in the freshly-turned dirt.

I took this picture of an OMP farmer tilling up the soil along Brinkman Road from the corner of Eastern Avenue and Ridgewood Road on my way back from a hike on the Ridgewood Trail a few days ago. I’m guessing it might be Jeff Manigold, but I didn’t run over there to find out.

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When I talked to Rob Manigold recently, he said they are managing the property for the owners – I believe the Van Meter family still owns this parcel – and that they’re planting wildflowers and milkweed there to attract and nurture the bee and butterfly population.

It’s a program of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which is part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Read more about the program here.

From the NRCS Website:

One out of every three bites of food in the United States depends on honey bees and other pollinators. Honey bees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops each year, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables. Managed honey bees are important to American agriculture because they pollinate a wide variety of crops, contributing to food diversity, security and profitability.

But during the past 50 years, the number of managed honey bees have declined. Each winter since 2006, about 30 percent of beehives collapsed because of disease, parasites, poor nutrition, pesticide exposure and other issues.

NRCS is working with agricultural producers to combat future declines by helping them to implement conservation practices that provide forage for honey bees while enhancing habitat for other pollinators and wildlife and improving the quality of water, air and soil.

I can’t wait to see this field full of wildflowers, bees and butterflies. Thanks to everyone involved for making this happen.

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan


  1. What a wonderful use of the land. So happy to see this development. Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to see what grows.

  2. How wonderful to use the land that way. I will be looking forward to seeing more butterflies, especially monarchs!


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