“Butterflies for Science?” was the invitation I emailed my friend. “YES!” she answered, “I want butterflies for my classroom. How do we do it?”
Here’s how we DON’T do it: No kits of generic caterpillars mailed 2nd Day Air with tubs of larval food paste (a “proprietary mixture of vitamins, proteins, and fats”). No butterflies released into the wild without regard to the calendar or what plants are outside.*
Our butterflies are a name brand! The Gulf Fritillary. Our caterpillar food is the real thing, the ONLY thing: this butterfly’s particular larval host plant. There would be no new Gulf Fritillaries without it.
Easiest butterfly garden ever: let celery butts and carrot butts sprout, then stick ’em in soil.
Maybe I mean “easiest butterfly factory” ever, because these butts won’t just feed butterflies, they’ll make butterflies.
All summer, Black Swallowtail butterfly moms will find the leaves and lay eggs, and then you’ll have more Black Swallowtails. And if you put your butts where you can see them every day, you can watch the whole butterfly lifecycle from the comfort of a lawn chair.
If you have not yet watched a butterfly lay an egg, or a caterpillar hatch, or a caterpillar molt, or a caterpillar become a chrysalis, or a chrysalis become a butterfly, this scrap garden is your chance to increase your chances.
You MUST SEE THESE THINGS.
If you have a kid or a parent or a friend or soulmate or neighbor, then THEY MUST SEE THESE THINGS, TOO.