Shoestring Acres Seed is a fledgling native seed farm located in northeast (verging on north central) Nebraska. Here is where our great grandparents homesteaded in 1881. Approximately 25 acres of pasture harbor remnant prairie. The swales consist of tallgrasses: big bluestem, Indiangrass, switchgrass while mixed grass species: side oats grama, Junegrass, little bluestem creep up the side slopes. We believe the flat areas and gentler slopes were overseeded with smooth brome and Kentucky bluegrass. The most common wildflowers are prairie rose and leadplant. That’s why the farm/business is called Shoestring Acres Seed: when settlers plowed through leadplant roots they popped and sounded like a leather shoestring when it breaks so the plant was nicknamed prairie shoestrings.
In 2006 we planted approximately five acres to native grasses and wildflower plots. These provide the G1 seed that we sell. (G1 refers to the first generation cultivated from wild seed sources.) We also harvest from the remnant prairies that we own or where we have permission to collect seed. Most of our foundation seed planted in the plots was harvested within 25 miles of the farm. Compass plant and narrow-leaf coneflower are the exceptions to this standard.
“We” are Alison (blogger), my sister Kristin, and our husbands Carey and Rob. We also occasionally con Kristin’s children into helping out. Our reason for doing this is to preserve and restore what little bit of virgin prairie remains on the family farm and to provide seed for others who want to plant prairie.