DECEMBER 6, 2021 Ellis County Rural Heritage Farm, Inc. was awarded a $500.00 Seed Grant from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and underwritten by Native American Seed. Once the seeds were received, the call went out for seed ball making volunteers. Instructions and Blackland Prairie information were distributed with seeds and soil for making seed balls.
Leading up to our first seed ball distribution event on January 17, 2022 many groups made wildflower seed balls. We would like to thank them all for making the seed balls and distributing them at the farm. Groups that participated in the seed ball making project included the Boys and Girls Club of Ellis County, Central Presbyterian Church Community Garden Project, Ellis County Master Gardeners, Indian Trail Chapter of the Master Naturalists, Pettigrew Academy, St. Joseph Catholic School, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints among numerous families and individuals.
Ginger Cole, Rural Heritage Farm Board Member and Project Director, reported that 2,000 to 3,000 seed balls containing Texas wildflower seeds were made, delivered, and/or distributed by families, individuals, and local church, school, and youth organizations at the Rural Heritage Farm, located at 130 Cunningham Meadows Road, Waxahachie, TX 75167.
JANUARY 17, 2022 Seed ball planting day at the Ellis County Rural Heritage Farm on Martin Luther King Day was a great success! Area residents participated in the seed ball distribution and educational stations.
Carly Aulicky, Ph.D., North Texas Director of Outreach & Stewardship for the Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT) and Volunteers Jo Ann Collins and Evaline Woodrey from the Fort Worth Chapter of NPAT, provided interesting and informative interactive activities for visitors to learn about the importance of native prairies, pollinators, and, yes, our humble, but important, bat allies.
Wendy Shappard, Outdoor Activity Specialist and STEM Instructor for the Girl Scouts of North Texas, and active member of the Indian Trail Chapter of the Master Naturalists and the Rural Heritage Farm Board, also provided a fun and engaging activity for kids to make small bird feeding stations out of Cheerios that they could place in their own backyards.
MARCH 26, 2022 Ellis County Rural Heritage Farm volunteers conducted seed ball making in the children’s area of the Ellis County Master Gardener Expo. Girl Scout, Maddie Shappard, assisted by Master Gardeners took the lead teaching children and adults how to make wildflower seed balls. The children could either take home their seed balls for planting or donate their finished seed balls to be distributed at the Ellis County Rural Heritage Farm. It was a busy day with over 300 children visiting the children’s area.
APRIL 24, 2022 Wildflower seed ball distribution was one of the fun events at the annual Prairie Wildlife and Wildflower Adventure. The Indian Trail Chapter of the Master Naturalists lead nature walks and taught about local flora and fauna. Prairielands Groundwater Conservation District representatives demonstrated interactive exhibits of how ground water perculates through the soil of recharge zones to fill the aquifers. Girl Scouts hosted several fun activities including archery and craft projects.
SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 Farm Heritage Day is our big event for the year. The last of our grant seeds were made into seed balls by students from the Presbyterian Church and Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints. Our final seed ball distribution was made from the hay ride. Students from the Presbyterian Church served as hay ride monitors and seed ball distributors. It was a beautiful day with with a crowd of about 400 in attendance. In addition to our seed distribution from the hay ride, there were many hands on activities. Making butter, washing clothes on a rub board, plowing a garden, sewing on a treadle machine, pealing pears and pressing them into cider, grinding corn and feeding chickens were among the fun farm activities. Ellis County 4H students taught roping techniques while County Agents demonstrated food preservation techniques. Southwest Dairy Mobile Classroom had milking demonstrations throughout the day. It was indeed a delightful Farm Heritage Day honoring the people and natural resources of Ellis County’s Blackland Prairie.
Now all we need is the blessing of rain. Rainfall totals are from station TX-EL-13 on the CoCORaHS.org website. Click Here To View Farm Rainfall Totals