The Boone County Buzz: Introducing Insect Hotels

Kathy DoisyHi! My name is Kathy E. Doisy, and I am a new board member for the Community Garden Coalition. I have always admired this organization because it helps so many people, and it’s completely volunteer. I’ve been an avid gardener since 1976, and I’m a retired entomologist so I have a lot of knowledge about gardening and garden pests. As the season goes forward, I’ll be posting timely information about common garden pests in a column we’re calling “The Boone County Buzz.” In the meantime I thought I might suggest a way that you can prepare for next year’s crops and help the environment at the same time.

I think we all know that insect pollinators are important for the production of many of our favorite fruit and vegetable crops. When you mention pollinators most people think of honey bees which are a lovely, beneficial species. But did you know they are not native to North America? They were introduced into the New World by Europeans. However, North America already had a huge diversity of native insects that act as excellent pollinators, including bumblebees, solitary bees, moths, ants, butterflies, and some flies.

I’ve been trying to encourage these native species in my garden for several years because it’s a LOT easier than being a beekeeper! Then I heard about “insect hotels.” Just type that or “bug hotels” into your favorite search engine, and you will be inundated with pictures and articles about how to build one for your yard or garden. I don’t know whose idea this was but it’s a good one! Below are few good websites for your perusal. I encourage you to help our native pollinators while also helping your garden!

How to build an insect hotel:

Detailed information on our native bees:

And here is my own new insect hotel:

Kathy's insect hotel

Gardening Courses

The Columbia Area Career Center has several classes happening this spring that might be of interest to gardeners. These paid classes are offered by the Columbia Public Schools through the Professional and Community Education Program.

For information on dates, prices, class openings and online registration go to:

ALSO: Mid-Missouri Expo—Small Farm to Backyard Garden is being offered by the Boone County MU Extension on Saturday, February 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Battle High School. There are going to be four topic areas with five concurrent sessions running on topics ranging from growing mushrooms, raising tomatoes, organic gardening, small animal rearing, pruning and much more. Pre-registration $7, door $10.

For more information go to

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Thank you!!

The Community Garden Coalition is so grateful to our many donors through the CoMoGives campaign in December. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results and the generosity of this community. We’ll do our best to use those funds to keep supporting and nurturing community gardens in 2018.

Community Garden Coalition Board of Directors:
Sarah Kendrick, President
Jenny McDonald, Vice President
Bill McKelvey, Treasurer
Lauren Godsy, Secretary
Kathy Doisy
Ken Germond
Ann Marie Gortmaker
Mira Stoddart

P.S. If you meant to donate, but missed your chance in December, it’s not too late! We can accept donations year-round at this link. And thank you again for your support!

Spotlight on D.H. Crum Community Garden

photo of D.H. Crum garden
DH Crum Community Garden partners with the City of Columbia and the Community Garden Coalition to provide gardening space and resources for all community members.

Support this garden and others with a donation through CoMo Gives this month.

We began the garden at Firehouse #5 in the Fall of 2014 with 6 individual plots. Garden participation continues to grow each year, and we now have 12 individual plots with a variety of community plot options where gardeners share the labor and harvest. We are also adding several fruit trees and bushes. The garden provides an opportunity for area residents to grow fresh food and an environment to develop community.

— Garden leaders Kristen Hatton and Julie Walker

people planting at D.H. Crum garden

Fun fact about the D.H. Crum garden: They have a persimmon tree, which drops loads of delicious native fruit most years in late fall. Lucky ducks!

Spotlight on Unite 4 Health Community Garden

The Unite 4 Health Community Garden was established in 2011.  It has undergone many transformations over the years, and today features 40 garden plots, five of which are fully accessible, and each tended by a different family.  Our members are a diverse group and offer an environment rich in culture, age and experience.  In addition to the individual plots, we have community strawberry, raspberry, elderberry, and herb beds, fruit trees, and a rain garden.  A rain barrel system is also on site.  Plans for next year include the addition of native edible plants.

Support this garden and others with a donation through CoMo Gives this month.

plots at Unite 4 Health gardenstrawberry bed at Unite 4 Health garden garden plots at Unite 4 Health garden garden plots in spring at Unite 4 Health garden Unite 4 Health garden plot

Goodbye to a Good Friend

Dan Cullimore helping package seeds
Our good friend Dan Cullimore passed away recently. Losing Dan is hard. He was generous with his time. He was smart and funny. He was someone you could go to with all sorts of questions. His positive attitude was one of his most endearing and helpful attributes.

For the Community Garden Coalition, Dan was first a gardener at the Circus-Lyons Community Garden (which he helped establish), then a garden leader there, then a board member. He eventually became president of the board and led our organization until he needed to resign to focus on his health earlier this year.

Dan Cullimore leading a garden tourHaving Dan at the helm helped us feel assured. He was an excellent ambassador for our group and for community gardening in general. He was reasoned and thoughtful when it came to making tough decisions. He even helped us grow up a little as an organization by working to formalize a variety of policies and procedures – no one’s idea of fun, but something that needed to be done.

The outpouring of kind words and remembrances from friends and family is a reminder of the place Dan occupies in our hearts and community. We will miss him greatly. We will carry his spirit with us.

Garden Leaders, including Dan Cullimore