Supporting the Insect Population in Prayer and Deed
I intercede for creation as much as for people. I've recently been lead to pray for bugs. They need our help in prayer and action.
During Covid-19 we have new hope for the environment as we watch skies and rivers clear. Many are spending more time in their yards even planting gardens for the first time. It is life affirming to see things grow. We also have a chance to sow life into the endangered insect population.
Two recent meta-studies tell us that 40% of insect species are in serious decline and a third in danger of extinction. Butterflies, dragonflies, moths, bees, beetles, ants are all in trouble. So are spiders. Not mosquitoes, flies, or cockroaches. Darn. We are losing pollinators and decomposers. We are losing a life base.
How do I pray for creation? I visualize. I ask to see what can be, what a place restored would look like. I partner with heaven. I intend, declare, decree, bless. I release harmony, balance, shalom. I make my spirit available to visit places that need healing intention. I send life energy to seeds. I bless rivers. I talk to bumblebees. I thank trees for their service.
I try to add action to my prayers. My family's plant-based diet is both for our health and the health of the planet. We avoid chemicals, pesticides, and over-consumption. I hand dig the dandelions from my grass. In other areas I let them grow and we eat them. It all adds up to a better world. Here are a few ways to nurture the insect population that helps nurture us.
Three simple ways to help the insect population.
1. Let your grass grow longer.
You can increase your insect population by up to 50 fold by letting the grass simply grow. If the whole lawn seems like too much then even a small area a meter square will make a tremendous difference. stick a few bulbs in there and call it a mini-meadow. You will also conserve water. When my daughter was young we would let the backyard grow totally wild but keep a mowed meandering path for her to explore. Of course, if you live in a fire risk area follow local guidelines. We never let the meadow dry out.
2. Plant wildflowers and fruiting shrubs.
Many of the cultivars and hybrids we plant are either lacking in the nectar and pollen insects need or they make it too hard for the bugs to get at them. Consider planting some wildflowers. Any nursery will have an indigenous blend of seeds. Make sure it includes some single flower seeds. Those wide open faces are easy for insects to find and land on. Flower bombing anyone?
I know they can be work but take a hit for the team and plant a fruit bearing tree of shrub. I love watching the bees and birds around my cold climate tough Haskap bushes. The compact shrub is the first to leaf out, bloom, and make its funky purple berries. You need two for fruit.
3. Let your yard be a little messy.
Avoid bare ground and don't clear mulches too early in the season. Let summer crops bolt. Leave some twigs and leaves on the ground over winter. Don't do your Spring clean up too early. If I remove the layer of last years leaves and plant stalks too early I loose my ladybugs. Consider insect boxes. Kids love these mini-houses.