Several weeks back in mid March friends gathered at Prairie Song to do what has been done for centuries in the midwest US – burn prairie. The function of burning prairie is ecological and it is amazing to learn about the dynamics of a healthy prairie ecosystem and how it is (or once was) one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. I’ve been waiting for weeks to find time to really reflect on the significance of a healthy prairie ecosystem. At this point I just want to get some pictures up in celebration of a job well done. You can see my previous blog post, “Impacts of Agriculture on Iowa Ecosystems,” which contains more information about the positive effects the prairie has on the ecosystem, and how various plants evolved with regular burning by Native Americans and lightening/drought over the centuries.
Restoring and replanting prairie is something our landlord is passionate about, and over the years he has established 5 fields of up to 16 acres of prairie plants, including a 12-acre restored wetland prairie. Kudos Jeffrey. Its truly a thing of beauty; the land here is full with wildlife, and the coyotes howl right outside our windows. What was once eroded hillside from corn cultivation is now stabilized hay field mixed with undisturbed prairie. Or landlord is a seasoned vet in burning prairie and he came with all the equipment. Saturday we had a crew to burn the top field, and the next day we burned 3 more.