Saving Butterflies, Growing Food: IFFS Incubator Farmer Elizabeth Mann

Elizabeth Mann's gardening adventure all began with a packet of tomato seeds. Five raised garden beds, 100 monarch butterflies, two certifications (one in permaculture, one in family herbal medicine), a book, and a move from Orlando, FL to Raleigh, NC later, she's landed at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Teaching Farm.

Elizabeth and her family began volunteering at the IFFS Teaching Farm in the beginning of May, and Elizabeth now cultivates her own plot as part of the IFFS Incubator Farm Program.

She grows veggies, herbs, milkweed and other butterfly host plants. She raises butterflies, and hopes to re-create the garden she and her family developed back in Orlando here in NC.  Her goals include restoring the monarch butterfly population, encouraging others to grow plants that attract butterflies, as well as teaching gardening.

What's she growing right now: butternut squash, sweet corn, sunflowers (to attract pollinators), green beans, zucchini, zinnias (for the butterflies), chamomile, oregano, basil, chocolate mint, lemongrass (for distillation into essential oil), and tomatoes

AND, she's hosting a workshop at the IFFS Teaching Farm this Saturday, August 17th, from 10-11am on Butterfly Rearing and Habitat. Then stick around for a workshop on Planning  your Fall Garden with Farmer Sun Butler (Cost is $10 for each of $15 for both; e-mail to reserve your spot!).

Can't make it to the workshop? Keep up with Elizabeth on her blog, check out her book, or come visit the IFFS Teaching Farm another time!

The IFFS Incubator Farm Program supports and grows new viable, independent farm businesses and aims to serve as a model new-farmer program.