Author Archives: Alison

New Production Plot

Our land is smothered by smooth brome (Bromus inermus). To better establish new production plots, we grow vegetables for three years before seeding native species. We start by solarizing the new garden with clear plastic before planting the first vegetables … Continue reading

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Porcupine Grass – Hesperostipa spartea

One of the most elegant grasses of the prairie is porcupine grass. Few plants animate wind and light conditions as well as this cool season native. But for all of its grace, few plants cause more pain to the non-observant … Continue reading

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2017 Native Seed Conference

We just returned from the National Native Seed Conference in Washington DC. The title is a bit of a misnomer. Most of the attendees were from the western US where federal agencies are the largest landowners and buy millions of … Continue reading

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Paris Climate Agreement

Since the conclusion of the Paris Climate meeting, I have been thinking and reading about how the US will meet its obligation to lower CO2 emissions. A significant contribution could come from increasing the country’s forest canopy, especially in cities: Cities … Continue reading

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Pollinator Mix 2014

This gallery contains 34 photos.

We will offer a pollinator mix later this year that should work in a range of conditions: compacted urban soils, hot spots in parking lots or boulevards, droughty sites with sandy or very well-drained soils, and even average garden soils.  … Continue reading

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Fire, some thoughts

I watched the fire run up to our production plots and thought “this epitomizes my farm career: I can’t keep up.”  Plums keep sprouting in new locations before the old thickets are brought under control.  A controlled burn (really) last … Continue reading

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Cleaning milkweed seed

As concern for monarch populations grows, so does the need for milkweed seed.  I never thought we would harvest and clean common milkweed seed but there is a need that we can easily fill because it grows happily in our … Continue reading

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More fodder for thoughts on plots

Aha! Found this article on Science Daily (see text below if the link dies): http://tinyurl.com/o23fspv I have suspected that forbs and grasses should and can grow together in our plots. The trick is figuring out which ones work together the … Continue reading

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Pasture Burn

“You won’t get a permit if we don’t get some moisture,” the Clearwater Volunteer Fire Chief flatly informed me.  It was the week before the seed conference, two weeks before we wanted to burn the pasture. “I understand.” Heck, I … Continue reading

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Final Thoughts on the Native Seed Conference

During the drive home from Santa Fe I studied my notes of the conference and developed a list of things we will try and reflected on some issues we cannot resolve but should follow.  My favorite quip was “we need … Continue reading

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