Our club has set a goal to plant 1000 Florida native milkweed plants around Jacksonville and its surrounding areas. To meet this goal, we will be giving away Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) and Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa).
Milkweed is a perennial plant (it comes back every year) and has beautiful flowers that will enrich any landscape design. It is easy to care for, and in no time at all, you will have an up-close view of the magical Monarch life cycle. Not only will you be helping to save the monarchs, many other beneficial pollinators will be benefited as well.
It is important to note that NO insecticides or herbicides be used on or near the milkweed, as this harms the Monarch caterpillars and butterflies. So please keep this in mind when planting your milkweed. It is also important to note that milkweed is not for human consumption and eating a large quantity is dangerous to livestock and humans. Luckily, it does not taste very good, so most animals learn very quickly to avoid it.
If you would like to receive some of our milkweed to plant around your home or business (or have any questions), please submit your information below to be added to our email list. The milkweed will be available for pick up from Celestial Farms starting in April 2019. Each household may receive up to 5 plants. Businesses and organizations may have more. First come, first serve.
Kid's Art Contest
We are encouraging all youth to learn as much as they can about the Monarch butterfly, the importance of milkweed, and what they can do to help save the Monarchs. Our club has designed an art contest in which contestants can exhibit this knowledge. Youth of all ages are invited to participate and receive a packet of milkweed seeds.
Enter for a chance to win one of these amazing prizes:
- Jacksonville Zoo tickets
- Family membership to Tree Hill Nature Center
- Family pass to Catty Shack Ranch wildlife sanctuary
- Tickets to Flamingo Lake water park
- Tickets to Beaches Rock Gym
- Home Depot gift card where you can purchase supplies to make your own butterfly garden
- Tickets to Diamond D Ranch
- 4-H Swag Bag
- Tickets to a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp Game
To enter, just create a beautiful piece of artwork that depicts any stage of the Monarch butterfly life cycle and/or milkweed. Then fill out the Entry Form at the bottom of this section. Drop the artwork and the entry form off at Celestial Farms, located on the northside of Jacksonville, to receive a free packet of milkweed seeds! Those who are unable to visit the farm may mail their artwork and entry form to:
Celestial Farms 4-H Art Contest
13958 Duval Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32218
Art Contest Rules:
- Deadline is May 11th, all entries must be turned in by this date.
- Youth must be 18 years old or younger. All entries will be divided into appropriate age groups (6 and under, 7 - 10, 11 - 13, and 14+).
- Any medium is accepted: pencil, crayon, watercolor, etc. Photographs and computer-generated artwork is not accepted at this time.
- Only one entry per youth is permitted.
- Artwork must represent the Monarch butterfly, it's life cycle, and/or milkweed.
- All entries must be either mailed or hand delivered to the address provide and include a completed entry form. If you would like the piece returned, please include an appropriately sized, self-addressed envelope and prepaid postage.
- Artwork must be hand delivered to Celestial Farms in order to receive a free packet of milkweed seeds.
- All entries will be evaluated by independent judges, who will select the first, second, and third prize winners.
- Winners will be notified via email.
Click here to print out the entry form.
Celestial Farms Homeschool 4-H Club's Project Monarch
Celestial Farms Homeschool 4-H Club's Project Monarch
The Monarch butterfly is disappearing. Habitat loss, use of pesticides, and global warming are having a very negative impact on this amazing creature. In fact, experts are predicting the species will be extinct within the next 20 years unless changes are made. The young members of our 4-H Club have chosen to do their part in saving the Monarch butterflies by establishing habitats around the Jacksonville, FL area and educating others about how they can help.
Monarch butterflies will only lay their eggs upon milkweed as this is the sole food source for the Monarch caterpillars. Thus, milkweed is extremely important to the Monarch life cycle. Unfortunately, the use of products such as Round Up has severely depleted the milkweed supply. Therefore, one of the best and easiest ways to help the Monarchs is to plant milkweed.
There are many varieties of milkweed, most of which have beautiful blooms that not only feed a variety of pollinators, but also enhance any landscape design. It is best to plant a type that is native to your area. For example, here in north Florida, we can choose from the brightly orange blossoms of Butterflyweed to the lacey white flowers of Whorled Milkweed, with many other color choices in between. For a complete list of the milkweeds native to your area and where to buy them, check out the Xerces Society's website.
Plight of the Monarch Movie
The life cycle of a butterfly
Some of our entries for the art contest
Sienna - 8
The Butterfly Dream
Kaylee - 10
Thy fly the beautiful butterfly
A dream to make one gleam
Monarch colors, like the dusky sky
Flutters by as if in a dream.
Waiting quietly to chrysalize,
To become a beautiful butterfly.
To finally fly high into the sky,
The Monarch butterfly is divine.
The Life of a Monarch Butterfly
Logan – 10
Monarch babies waiting in their eggs,
With their many little legs.
Coming out in two weeks’ time,
Looking for a leaf to dine.
Becoming baby Monarch caterpillars,
Racing to become fatter.
Eating all that they can get,
As if trying to repay a debt.
Reagan – 6
I saw a butterfly egg.
I was amazed.
I saw a baby caterpillar.
I want to find it a name.
I love the baby caterpillar.
I saw a little chrysalis.
I felt wowed!
I saw my baby turn into a butterfly.
I was excited
Spencer - 12
When the monarch lands on the milkweed
to take a sip of that juicy nectar,
the sensation of full emotions
is emitted around the air.
Ethan - 8
Monarch butterflies, black and orange;
They come out of their storage.
They migrate from the freezing winter;
So they won’t be chilly cold.
They fly high and are bold.
They come back in the summer;
So they can find their new lover.
And they have fun.
Back to winter, they hide from ice.
That is a Monarch butterfly’s life.
The MJV is partnering with the USFWS to develop and host a series of webinars on monarch biology, monitoring, and conservation. To register for and see a list of our upcoming webinars, go to our events page. The following webinars are recorded and available for viewing. Please note, it takes 2-3 weeks for a webinar recording to be processed.