The state of Iowa lies in the heart of the Tallgrass Prairie region. It’s hard to imagine that just 100 years ago, our landscape was tall grass and wildflowers, as far as the eye could see. It is all but forgotten by the landscape that surrounds us now.
But tucked away in small places, where farm machinery could not go, are the tiny remains of remnant prairies that still exist as they did years ago. Most of them struggling to survive the encroachment of introduced grass, trees and weeds. Without intervention, they will cease to exist and become something only seen in the pictures of a history book. We have the opportunity to make a difference and we’re passionate about the responsibility of conserving the genetic potential that each of these species has to offer.
Once a remnant area is found, we catalog each species and return to check for seed production throughout the season. When the time is right, we hand-collect seed from each of these species and use that seed to plant areas of our farm. Some are planted directly in the soil, while others are grown in our greenhouse, and then planted out on the land. We then collect seed from these descendants on our farm and grow again in the greenhouse.
In the near future we will offer to share the plant life of our native prairie remnants. The actual off-spring from a natural prairie plant that has existed for centuries. No longer something you see in a guide book, but growing in your own garden… a prairie of your own. It is our hope to inspire a love for the beauty and historic nature that our Tallgrass Prairie once graciously laid across the landscape of our region.