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…Same, but Different…

This is my 22nd year at Prairie Restorations, Inc. I can finally say that the years are starting to gel together. Time goes by one day at a time and, without even thinking about it, it has been twenty-two years. During my time working with native landscapes, I’ve really come to appreciate their variability. Each year there can be significant variations in a landscape all influenced by a combination of factors including weather, predation, human influences, etc…One year, there can...

Diversity and Richness of Minnesota Wetlands

The Boreal Natives’ seed department has been busy the last two weeks picking wetland seed species. We have been targeting sedges and have mainly focused on Carex retrorsa (Knot sheathed sedge) and Carex vulpinoidea (Fox sedge). When sloshing around northern Minnesota wetlands picking seed, you are able to experience firsthand these important ecosystems. We have been seeing many different insects, birds and frogs. The diversity of a quality wetland ecosystem is truly amazing. Our recent wetland visits have reaffirmed to me how important...

Prairie Rose: A Drought-Resistant Native Minnesota Shrub

Prairie rose, (Rosa arkansana) is an incredibly drought-resistant low growing shrub. This plant still greens up and blooms even during the most severe and prolonged dry spells, such as the dust bowl years of the 1930’s. The plants can grow from seed, but once established will spread through rhizomes. The stems of the plant will die back after a year or two or three, but are replaced by new shoots from the tough rhizomes. The prairie rose thrives on fire and will often...

Timing is Everything With IPM – integrated plant management

Sand prairies were restored to the PRI Princeton farm from corn fields and they are beautiful. Sometimes I think about starting one of those projects photographing for 365 days in one spot. For me it would be the little knoll in front of the Native Plant Center. IPM is crucial to maintaining authenticity of even large restored native plant communities. Opportunistic annual and short-lived perennial species abound in our world and invade from edges to centers of restored areas without persistent scouting...

Bringing People Together With The Land

As an employee of PRI for over two years now, I have heard and seen our slogan, “bringing people together with the land” many times. Not only is it catchy and on the bottom of all of my email signatures, but it is also rather fitting for a company like ours. I have never really stopped to think about it until the other day while I was working in my own little prairie at home. Last year, my wife and I decided to replace a small flower bed in the middle of...

Talking About the History of Native Seed Production with PRI’s Mike Evenocheck

Editor’s note: Being able to have ready access to local origin, historically accurate species for use in our restoration projects is central to Prairie Restoration’s mission and philosophy.  In this post our Director of Sales and Marketing, Mike Evenocheck, gives us a bit of the back story on PRI seed production.   Interviewer:  Can we talk about the way that Prairie Restorations works in producing native seeds? Why don’t you share a little bit of the history of Prairie Restorations and how seed production...

Sedge Seed Collection at PRI

There are two main sedges I collect seed for in the fall. Carex lupulina, also known as Hop sedge, grows in sunny to shady conditions, in wet to mesic soils. It is a good choice for rain gardens, along swamp edges and lake shore. It has an interesting hop-like seed head. Seed heads form in July and start turning brown when ripe in later September. Seeds from sedges are an important food source for birds and turtles. Carex grayi, also known as Common bur sedge, grows in...

What Goes On at Our Various Minnesota Native Landscaping Locations

Our Midwest native landscaping company consists of more than just one location.  In fact, throughout the state of Minnesota we have six separate facilities. While they each have the capability to provide the same services, their focus and primary function tends to vary, depending on the need. For example, just west of Duluth we have our Boreal Natives facility.  This location produces seeds and plants that are native to northeastern Minnesota as well as northwestern Wisconsin. Another one of the main functions here is producing all of trees and shrubs that our company uses and sells.  These might find their...

Prairie Restoration for Dummies

I’ve learned a lot over the last 3 years working here, with still so much more to learn, but hopefully I’m not a “prairie dummy” anymore. 2008, our first spring living on our little hobby farm, better known at that time as ‘little dump on the prairie’, I looked south out the window one afternoon and saw black smoke billowing from Carleton hill (near Northfield, MN). I immediately thought there was a wild fire and I should probably call 911. Luckily, my neighbor, a wise old farmer from down the road, stopped in and I told him...

Early Summer Wildlife Encounters

Many of us here at Prairie Restorations know that early summer does not only mean the arrival of spring-time forbs and cool-season grasses. It also means the arrival of nesting waterfowl birds, upland game birds, and also the birth of many different species of animals. In the early part of June many different species of waterfowl take full advantage of our native prairies. From birds as small as the Blue-Winged Teal to birds as large as the Canadian Goose, they...