The seeds we sow

I thought I’d give you an idea of the variety and beauty of the native plant seeds that we collect, clean, and sow. All of our seeds are collected in the wild. We monitor over 100 species of native plants throughout the year and document the time that they flower, set seed, and are ready for harvest. We collect the seeds by hand, and clean the sticks, leaves, fuzz, and papery coatings off the seeds by passing them through sieves, using a winnower, or using our vacuum seed separator. Once the seeds are cleaned, they go into mason jars for storage until planting time. The photo above is our seed storage room, showing about one-third of the seeds we have. The seed room is kept cool throughout the year.

Cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

Cow Parsnip Seeds Cow Parsnip


Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum)

Indian Hemp Seeds Indian Hemp


Lemonweed (Lithospermum luderale)

Lemonweed Seeds Lemonweed


Mock orange (Philadelphus lewisii)

Mock Orange Seeds Mock Orange


Wolf willow (Elaeagnus commutata)

Wolf Willow Seeds Wolf Willow

Photo credits: Photos of seeds are by me. Cow parsnip plant photo: Indian hemp plant photo: Lemonweed plant photo: Mock orange plant photo: Wolf willow plant photo:

A Wintertime Update

As the year comes to an end, we thought we’d give an update of all the changes that have been happening at our nursery. In 2014 we undertook major renovations, including building a new office and adding a second greenhouse and header house. Our office is a little log building that was built by trainee log builders using local wood. Our JCP landscaping crew has built a patio, a bridge, and some beautiful rock wall gardens around the office, using native plants from our nursery. Our vision is to use the building to showcase our ethnobotanical products, and for visitors to sit down, have a cup of tea and enjoy our mountain surroundings.

We also built a new greenhouse that has all the bells and whistles. The new greenhouse was put up parallel to the original greenhouse, doubling our growing space. The greenhouses are now heated, and the new one has overhead irrigation, bottom heat, and double walls. Right now we’re using the greenhouse for propagating sedges and grasses.

The header house is a lean-to building that connects the two greenhouses. It’s used for seed cleaning and storage, soil mixing, potting, and all the other nursery-related things we do. We heat the greenhouses and header house using a wood boiler.

One more exciting update… we now have a vacuum seed separator! This cool machine separates viable seeds from empty seeds and all the sticks and leaves that get mixed up in them during seed collection. You pour the seeds in one end of the machine, and it separates the viable, clean seeds into one bowl and the chaff into the other.

We wish you all a healthy, happy new year – come in and visit us if you’d like to check out our new digs! For some more photos check out our Facebook page – just search for Splitrock Environmental.