If a plant has been in an area historically and was not introduced by human means it is considered to be a native plant. Often the question is posed why are natives “better” than non-natives? Simply put, natives have evolved with the climate and the other native species, and are thus more adept at sustaining themselves and growing in harmony with other plants and animals in their environment. The result is diverse vegetation that requires minimal, if any, resources to maintain, and supports a wider range of wildlife and insects species. Many non-native plants, often called “invasive” plants, will out-compete other species and create a mono-culture (one specie) stand that does not provide diverse habitat for the local wildlife. A limited selection of insects and other wildlife results in a weakened system that is more vulnerable to negative impacts. One of the benefits of having native vegetation around a farm is that you increase your pollinator species while also increasing the predator species of natural agricultural pests. In the floodplain where Oxbow farm is located well-established native plants also act as a stronger buffer to hold the river bank in place when a flood comes, which protects our soil from unnecessary erosion.
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