A lot of people are familiar with the concept of live butterfly gardens. After all, even a traditional flower garden can do double duty attracting butterflies. But butterfly farms are a whole other spectacle. There’s a reason that you don’t encounter them that often.
One thing that should be clear up front. A butterfly farm is not a place where butterflies are raised because somebody wants to harvest them for some reason or other. In other words, it’s not like a goat farm or a horse farm. Still there are at least some features that a traditional farm shares with one that identifies itself primarily with butterflies.
First, a farm is a big place. It might be a thousand acres, but it’s not a small patch of land either. Typical butterfly farms run to at least forty or fifty acres. On top of that, they also have several different types of landscape. That is, you’ll have a lot of open field but you will also have some swampy areas, some forest, and maybe even some low hills or a river.
Second, where butterfly gardens tend to attract relatively few species, a farm is going to draw representatives from virtually all the species that can be found in that particular bio region. Monarch butterflies, owl butterflies, swallowtails. If you’re likely to see it in that neck of the woods, you can pretty much count on seeing it at the farm.
Finally, butterfly farms are not capable of being micro-managed. In other words, just as most farmers have to let their horses or cows tend to a certain pasture, butterfly farmers pretty much stand back and let the butterflies have their way. That means that they might scatter some wildflower seeds, and they might cultivate a few flower or herb gardens, but the bulk of their territory is subject only nature’s whim.
If you’re a fan of butterflies, you should absolutely find a nearby farm and check it out. It takes butterfly gardening to a whole new level!