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The Green Life: Art Crops Up in Kansas

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June 25, 2007

Art Crops Up in Kansas

If you like artichokes, figs, honey, almonds--or tequila--you have pollinators to thank for your favorite treats. According to the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), pollinating animals (mostly insects) "contribute to one out of every three bites we eat" and help 85 percent of wild flowering plants reproduce. Like other wild creatures, pollinators are at risk from habitat destruction and pollution, but bats and bees don't draw the same kind of sympathy as penguins and polar bears.

Crop_art_2To help promote the plight of these small, but essential animals, earthworks artist Stan Herd is creating a living installation (shown here in a preliminary sketch) depicting one of the most charismatic pollinators--the butterfly. The 50-foot Southern Dogface butterfly made out of squash, sunflowers, and other crops planted on a Kansas farm is based on one of four pollination-themed stamps being issued by the U.S. Postal Service this Friday. The NAPPC is providing tips for gardeners, cooks, and anyone else who wants to help celebrate and protect pollinating species. Tequila sunrise (tequila [bat] + orange juice [bee] + cherry [bee]), anyone?

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