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Growing Native Plants
Saturday April 29 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Please bring your own lunch to this workshop. Participants located in Grey-Bruce can register by contacting email@example.com. Questions from participants are also welcome at this email address. All others must register through EFAO.
Join this workshop to learn about integrating native plant growing into your operation!
With regulatory changes and a rising awareness of the role of native vegetation in biodiversity and climate resilience, the market for Native plants is evolving rapidly. However, a lack of supply of native plants remains a bottleneck for landscape regeneration – most nurseries are selling out rapidly.
Regenerate Grey Bruce wants to foster localized and decentralized production of native plants. For this end, we are seeking to form a partnership with local farmers with capacity to grow plants from seeds – market gardeners, nurseries, or other folks. This partnership is embedded into a larger value chain initiative, aimed at building capacity from collecting native seeds, to growing out native plants, and finally building a retail or wholesale market. In this vision, native plants would be marketed through a local partnership rather than by the growers themselves.
If you are a farmer interested in integrating native plant growing into your operation, please join us for an in-person workshop for growers. The workshop will give an overview on the following:
- The Native Plant market – customers, products, and seasonality.
- The practicalities of growing:
- What plants are suitable for your farm? A decision guide.
- From seeds to plugs – how to treat seeds, and what to consider about seeds.
- From greenhouse to outdoor growing – what not to do, and what works.
- Making marketable products – what’s to consider?
- Strategies to embed native plants into your operation
To build a native plant value chain, we first need to build supply. Inspired participants may take home native seeds for growing about 200 row feet of plants this season. We hope that 3-10 farmers will participate in this test pilot, build growing experience, and get ready for a larger marketing initiative in the next year(s) that would target landscapers and restoration projects.
About the instructor: The workshop is led by Kim Delaney. Kim is a master grower with more than 20 years of experience in native plants and seed growing. She co-authored Environment Canada’s guide to establishing prairie and meadow communities in Southern Ontario. Kim has worked extensively in tallgrass prairie restoration identifying native plants, collecting seed and producing countless plug plants for use in restoration projects across southern Ontario. Today, her main focus is the growing and processing of seeds for open pollinated vegetable varieties – she can offer a wealth of insights.
About the host farm: Luna Mia Farm is a collectively owned 100 acre ecological farm near Chesley in Grey County, Ontario. Our Guatemalan-Canadian family implements regenerative agriculture through ecological and Indigenous traditional practices. We raise a small flock of sheep, chickens and ducks, and use sustainable farming methods to produce fiber, organically grown vegetables, and heritage seeds. We also serve as a base for community-based projects rooted in ecological and social justice principles. We’ve been working and teaching permaculture and ecological agriculture in Guatemala – with a focus on seeds – for over 20 years. We are now in the process of establishing our own family farm in Southern Ontario.
About Regenerate Grey Bruce
This workshop is presented by Regenerate Grey Bruce, a project supported by Greenbelt Foundation. Regenerate Grey Bruce is building a network of practitioners in landscape regeneration from our region, while formulating a narrative of hope for this region’s landscape in our changing climate. A new landscape narrative will require a collective effort of our community to change our relationship with the land, the way that we value the land’s ecological functioning, and even how we value the land and the creatures that inhabit it. We can only do this together as a community. The organizers include local farmers Thorsten Arnold and Madeline Marmor.
The Greenbelt Foundation is supporting projects that increase plant cover in the Greenbelt & Niagara Escarpment. The Greenbelt Foundation website is www.greenbelt.ca