Blossom Meadow Farm has teamed up with award-winning winery Coffee Pot Cellars for their “Merlot for Monarchs” Campaign, a mission to restore the monarch butterfly population by restoring their habitat. For every bottle of Merlot sold throughout the year, Coffee Pot Cellars will fund Blossom Meadow Farm to grow a butterfly milkweed plant (Asclepias tuberosa, native to New York) and work with Girl Scouts earning their Silver and Gold Awards to plant the milkweed and restore monarch butterfly habitat throughout Long Island each June. As of November 15th 2018, over 700 bottles of Merlot were sold (translating to 700 butterfly milkweed plants)!
Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) plays a critical role in the monarch life cycle. They are the only plants that serve as food for newly hatched caterpillars. In fact, the monarch population has declined by >80% within the last two decades and it is estimated that over 1.3 billion stems of milkweed (Asclepias spp.) will need to be restored for the species to bounce back (reference: Environ. Res. Lett. 12 (2017) 074005). Each caterpillar needs the sustenance of half to full plant to turn into a butterfly so this project is bound to make a conservation difference!
In an effort to reconnect people with nature, monarch caterpillars happily munching away on milkweed and chrysalises of monarchs waiting to emerge as butterflies are prominently displayed at the Coffee Pot Cellars Tasting Room/Blossom Meadow Farm Store located at 31855 Main Road in Cutchogue during the months of July, August, and September. Also in the tasting room is a chalkboard with the current tally of merlot bottles purchased as part of the “Merlot for Monarchs” campaign. Twelve-year-old pug Beasley, who is a local celebrity in his own right, wears monarch butterfly wings every day at the tasting room to show his support of the project.