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Feed Monarch Butterflies & Help Them Survive! Get your own Monarch Survival Kit & help to plant 500 organic milkweeds this year. Read more

Tampa, FL Food
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on May 31, 2014.

Feed Monarch Butterflies & Help Them Survive! Get your own Monarch Survival Kit & help to plant 500 organic milkweeds this year.

Tampa, FL Food
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About this project

THIS PROJECT WILL BE RELAUNCHED WITH A NEW GOAL ON 6/1/14 (pending approval from Kickstarter that can take 48-72 hrs?). PLEASE CHECK www.monarchbutterflieshelp.com FOR A NEW LINK. THANK YOU!

The goal of this project is to plant at least 500 organic milkweed plants this year. This includes plants grown from seed, from the small milkweed plug, or from a mature plant. The funds raised will be used to send you your kits, to plant additional organic milkweed in Florida, and to commission milkweed plugs for the next year. Milkweed does not propagate very well on its own and often cannot compete with other plants, which is why your help is urgently needed. Additionally, any harmful chemicals applied to milkweed will make caterpillars sick and they will also refuse to eat chemically treated plants.

I got a small milkweed seedling a few years ago. Then I got another one, as well as a few seedlings from the seeds I planted. Very soon Monarchs discovered my tiny patch and started laying eggs. More and more butterflies came, and I was completely caught off guard as I did not have enough milkweed plants to meet their demand. I surveyed the area and discovered that my tiny patch was literally the only one for miles, at least. There are simply no milkweed plants in the area, so many females, barely alive, came to my patch to lay eggs.

Apart from being a mysterious and captivating species, Monarch butterflies and butterflies in general are important not only because they are pollinators but also because they indicate the health of the ecosystem. We have been systematically wrecking their ecosystem and now they need all help they can get.

This year we have seen a catastrophic decline in the number of Monarch butterflies migrating to Mexico. This indicates that the butterfly is in serious trouble, in part because of a serious shortage of milkweed worldwide. The goal of this project is to plant at least 500 organic milkweed plants this year to help Monarch butterflies survive.

Even though milkweed is called a "weed," it is not very successful in propagating and competing with other plants, a tendency exacerbated by recent climate change induced weather changes. Yet milkweed is the only host plant for monarch butterflies and without it they will die off.

Kickstarter offers a wonderful opportunity to provide more milkweed for butterflies by reaching more people who might be interested in helping.

Option #1. Small Monarch Butterfly Survival Kit

This is a very basic kit that includes milkweed seeds that can grow in your region as well as growing instructions.

Option #2. Basic Monarch Butterfly Survival Kit

Your basic kit will include:

  • 1. Biodegradable and recycled envelope
  • 2. Organic cotton pouch to keep collected seeds for the next year
  • 3. Garden markers with moisture-resistant coating on painted wood
  • 4. Wildflower seeds native to your region
  • 5. Growing instructions
  • 6. Milkweed seeds that can grow in your region

Option #3. Premium Monarch Butterfly Survival Kit

Your premium kit will include:

  • 1. Biodegradable organic pot
  • 2. Organic cotton pouch to keep collected seeds for the next year
  • 3. Garden markers with moisture-resistant coating on painted wood
  • 4. Wildflower seeds native to your region
  • 5. Growing instructions
  • 6. Recycled and biodegradable shipping box
  • 7. Young milkweed plant (ships separately from the kit)
  • 8. Milkweed seeds that can grow in your region
  • 7. Young milkweed plant (ships separately from the kit)
  • 8. Milkweed seeds native to your region

Option #4. Deluxe Monarch Butterfly Survival Kit

Your deluxe kit will include:

  • 1. Biodegradable organic pot
  • 2. Organic cotton pouch to keep collected seeds for the next year
  • 3. Garden markers with moisture-resistant coating on painted wood
  • 4. Wildflower seeds native to your region
  • 5. Growing instructions
  • 6. Recycled and biodegradable shipping box
  • 7. Mature milkweed plant (ships separately from the kit) ready for hungry caterpillars
  • 8. Milkweed seeds that can grow in your region

Milkweed is seriously disappearing everywhere. Because it is the only host plant for Monarchs, this species will be gone soon if nothing is done to reverse this trend. We still have not figured out the mystery of their migration, and now it is in danger of disappearing completely. Many milkweed species do not propagate very well on their own, and they are subject to weather conditions that make it even more difficult for this plant to survive since it often cannot compete with other plants. This is why the Monarch Butterfly Survival Kit is so important.

There are more than 100 milkweed species in the USA, but this project will focus on three species that have the widest distribution and are relatively easy to grow: Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Milkweed), Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed), and Asclepias curassavica (Tropical Milkweed).

Please see the statewide distribution map below.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Milkweed)

 Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)

 Asclepias curassavica (Tropical Milkweed). 

Note: I plan to include a map and a small database on the website where you can log your Monarch Butterfly Survival Patch, post pictures and record your observations.

If you live in the US and Canada, please consider ordering one of our kits and plant milkweed directly. If you are an international supporter or cannot grow milkweed, please consider donating to this cause and receiving one of three special rewards. Monarchs' amazing migration is a natural wonder and it belongs to the world. Together, we can assure it will not disappear forever.

Special Note: All Butterflies and Milkweed images are from my own backyard! You will have same beautiful butterflies too if you provide them with milkweed and nectar plants to feed on.

Risks and challenges

There are several challenges present in this project.

First, some seeds might not germinate successfully. I plan to post information on my website www.monarchbutterflieshelp.com regarding how to successfully germinate milkweed seeds.

Some shipments could be delayed pending weather (too hot) and availability. Some plants could be replaced, i.e. one mature plant with several young plants. Some plants will ship separately from the kit.

Third, milkweed is relatively fast growing but sadly very rare (hence the project), but once Monarchs have discovered your Monarch Butterflies Survival Patch you might need more milkweed to feed hungry caterpillars! My patch looks like the only one for miles and I have had experiences where it appeared that all the Monarchs in the area descended on it and laid eggs at once, so I had milkweed shortages on a few occasions.

Milkweed plants contain various levels of toxin called "cardenolide" (that is why Monarchs actually feed on milkweed, to deter predators). A. curassavica has the highest levels of cardenolide. Please plant milkweed in areas where children and pets will not get to it easily and ingest it. The milky white sap can be dangerous if gets in the eye.

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FAQ

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Rewards

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more
    About $1.00 USD

    1 backer

    Thank you! I will send you a thank you email.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more
    About $5 USD

    1 backer

    Thank you! I will send you an update on the project and a thank you email.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more
    About $10 USD

    2 backers

    You will get an organic cotton pouch, a sticker, and a HUGE thank you!

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    Ships to: Anywhere in the world
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more
    About $15 USD

    3 backers

    You will get a Small Monarch Butterfly Survival Kit that will include milkweed seeds for your region and growing instructions.

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    Ships to: Only United States
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more
    About $25 USD

    11 backers

    You will get a Basic Monarch Butterfly Survival Kit with milkweed and wildflower seeds, garden markers, organic cotton pouch, and growing instructions packaged neatly in a recycled and biodegradable envelope that you can compost in your garden.

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    Ships to: Only United States
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more
    About $35 USD

    1 backer

    You will get an organic cotton pouch, a sticker, one small but beautiful framed print of a monarch butterfly and a HUGE thank you!

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    Ships to: Anywhere in the world
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more
    About $45 USD

    11 backers Limited (64 left of 75)

    You will get a Premium Monarch Butterfly Survival Kit with milkweed and wildflower seeds, small milkweed plug, garden markers, organic cotton pouch, and growing instructions packed neatly in a recycled and biodegradable box that you can compost in your garden.

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    Ships to: Only United States
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more
    About $75 USD

    5 backers Limited (21 left of 26)

    You will get a Deluxe Monarch Butterfly Survival Kit with milkweed and wildflower seeds, garden markers, organic cotton pouch, mature milkweed plant, and growing instructions packed neatly in a recycled and biodegradable box that you can compost in your garden.

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    Ships to: Only United States
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $85 or more
    About $85 USD

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    This pledge is for international (and domestic) supporters as we cannot ship milkweed internationally and not everyone can grow milkweed. You will receive an organic cotton pouch, a sticker, and 2 beautiful framed prints of a monarch butterfly and Queen butterfly, both species that depend exclusively on milkweed for survival. Every time you look at your beautiful prints you will know that your contribution is helping them to survive.

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    Ships to: Anywhere in the world
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Funding period

- (30 days)