Tucked neatly at the base of the Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts, Nasami Farm is a unique native plant nursery with a wide reach. What makes this nursery so special? Let’s take a look:
Spotlight: Native Plant Nursery in Massachusetts
As a local plant nursery in Massachusetts, Nasami Farm does not purchase from distributors. This makes them a rare kind of nursery that grows all the native plants that are available for purchase. (1)
More impressively, all their plants are grown without systemic pesticides. They are truly a gem for eco-conscious gardeners in the area who are looking to create a healthy ecosystem in their backyard or community garden.
“Many, but not all, of our plants start from seed that our staff and volunteers harvest sustainably in the wild throughout the region.”
Many, if not all the plants for sale at the nursery are local ecotypes. This means that they are suited to the local climate and will be resistant to local strains of diseases and pests compared to plants that are grown elsewhere in the country and shipped in.
These native plants are available for sale both at the nursery, as well as their Garden in the Woods location in Framingham.
Nasami Farm is also a part of an extensive conservation program for New England plants, which allows them to propagate plants for upcoming species reintroduction and habitat restoration projects.
Who Owns Nasami Farm?
Nasami Farm is owned by Native Plant Trust, which is designated as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization for the conservation of native plants in New England. This organization owns and manages several locations, such as Garden in the Woods in Framingham, as well as several plant sanctuaries across New England. Nasami Farm is their nursery where propagation research and growing trials take place for native plants that are particularly difficult to grow.
Additionally, Native Plant Trust manages the country’s first native plant conservation program where it collects data from all six states in New England and provides accurate data about endangered species to inform and create new conservation policies.
Why Garden with Native Plants in New England?
Gardening with native plants is a relatively new idea, as many people are used to planting a garden full of ornamentals and plants native to Europe or Asia. Unfortunately, these plants can have negative impacts on the environment and regional pollinators.
Native plants are the most important plants that you can begin planting in your garden for a more ecologically sustainable and diverse landscape. Not only does it create a more resilient lawn, but it encourages pollinators and creates a food and shelter buffer for wildlife against the effects of climate change.
Native plants are becoming more popular throughout New England, as gardeners, landscapers, and ecologists recognize their positive effect on the ecosystem. Native Plant Trust, the organization that owns Nasami Farm, is one of the primary educational spaces for native plant information in the region.
When is Nasami Farm Open for the Season?
Nasami Farm is a seasonal nursery, which means it is closed for business during the winter as the retail nursery is outdoors and many native plants are dormant during this time. Even when the nursery is closed, however, plenty of work still goes on in the horticultural department, growing hard-to-propagate plants and getting ready for the year.
Public programs and retail sales resume in the spring once the weather warms up, typically in April. The nursery begins closing up shop in October, when native plants begin to go dormant, and the weather turns colder.
Nasami Farm’s Seed Banking Mission
This plant nursery is critical to Native Plant Trust’s seed banking mission known as the Seed Ark. There are strict guidelines around seed collection and banking, but through Nasami Farm’s efforts, the organization has been able to create a streamlined workflow to begin protecting New England’s native plants.
As a part of the Native Plant Trust’s Seed Ark initiative, Nasami Farm grows plants from sustainably collected wild seeds to maintain genetic diversity without use of harmful pesticides. After collection of wild seeds, many are cleaned and dried for storage to preserve biodiversity for the future. This ensures that there will always be plants for reintroduction according to their conservation program’s needs.
Public Programs for Native Plant Education
Nasami Farm is also home to an education center that allows them to host several in-person educational programs from Native Plant Trust.
The ability to showcase in-person information on a projector and then receive hands-on learning either at the nursery – or at several ecologically diverse areas nearby – makes it a prime location for learning botany.
The Whately, MA nursery is nestled into the Appalachian region of the US, where there is a diverse range of plants and wildlife sensitive to development and habitat destruction. The educational portion of Nasami Farm teaches individuals about botany and horticulture in a way that raises awareness of these issues.
- Native Plant Trust, Buy Native Plants, https://www.nativeplanttrust.org/for-your-garden/buy-native-plants/