Wildflower seeds harvested in Sudbury to improve biodiversity
SUDBURY -- Jenny Fortier is busy right now harvesting seeds from wildflowers, like a Rattlesnake Master flower.
She is part of a family-owned business, Northern Wildflowers, that started eight years ago.
"What's unique is that they are native, so they are natural to many areas in Canada including northern Ontario," Fortier said. "They are flowers that are hearty, so they are going to survive the winter. They are perennials -- flowers that you plant and they come back every year."
Fortier said there are many benefits of growing colourful wildflowers, including helping the environment.
"I am a biologist -- that is my background -- and we realized that in order to help pollinators, in order to help increase the biodiversity of our area, people were really interested in growing natives, but there just wasn't a source to get these seeds," she said.
The Nickel Refillery is an environmentally-friendly store in Sudbury that carries the popular wildflower seeds, which can also be purchased online.
"Customers have been really excited about it because we know that these are the kind of flowers that we are supposed to see around here and they benefit the biodiversity in so many ways," said Liz Anawati, owner of The Nickel Refillery.
Fortier said now is the ideal time to plant wildflower seeds to allow them to germinate in the spring.
"That's when they naturally would drop for most plants, and so wildflowers that are native to our climate are adapted to our winters," she said.
Northern Wildflowers ships seeds across Canada and has plans to also sell in the United States in the near future. Seeds have also been used in many land restoration projects.