Carol Lafon keeps up with a great deal of literature regarding Monarch butterflies, nectar and host plants. She forwarded a link to Monarch Flyway’s business “Ogallala Comfort Company” out of Nebraska which is developing a new agriculture based on the milkweed plants. The company makes down pillows, comforters, duvets and mattress enhancers. One of their down options is a hypoallergenic, more durable and comfortable product called “Hypodown” which combines four parts of white goose down with one part “Syriaca” clusters–a fiber from the milkweed plant. In their words:
“We search the world over for the fluffiest, cleanest white goose down (fluffs). We grow our own Syriaca and collect the finest pods. Our processing team captures the largest Syriaca clusters (tufts) and transfers them to the patented Hypodown blender. Forced air whirls and twirls the fluffs and tufts. . . creating Hypodown.”
Another product offered is “Milkweed Balm”, an omega-7 rich oil in roll on form from milkweed seeds used as an anti-inflammatory pain reliever.
Milkweed was never successfully commercialized on large scale even though it has been in use since ancient times for swaddling, fabric, medicine and synthetic crude oil. Did you know that in World War II, children collected the fluff from pods to stuff “Mae West” life vests for troops?
This company, Monarch Flyway, is working with the sustainable harvest business model with low volume but high quality products. Further, their business is helping to build habitat that would otherwise be continuing to dwindle for Monarch butterflies. They also pay cash to growers of milkweed for pods.
“Knowing the positive characteristics of Asclepias, (Milkweed), it’s gardening benefits of creating Monarch Habitat, attracting other butterflies, soil conservation and the success of Ogallala Down, seed was allocated for the development of Asclepias Seed Company. Seed is sold for land reclamation, highway beautification, butterfly gardens and to butterfly farmers. We are able and willing to develop site specific collections based on our past experience and interest in preserving the Monarch Flyway throughout the United States.
Here is a link to the company pages: Monarch Flyway