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Interview with Services Manager Brad Vierkant: The Basics of Integrated Plant Management

You might think that here at our native landscaping company that we’re all about installing native landscapes and selling native seeds and plants.  And you may have seen some our videos on prescribed burns and those involving the removal of invasive species like buckthorn.  But a major part of the work we do includes ongoing management of the landscapes we install.   Plant management is an involved process.  As part of our ongoing series of interviews with our various staff members, we talked recently with Brad Vierkant about what  IPM (integrated plant management) involves.   One of his responsibilities is...

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...

Spotlight on Our Princeton Native Landscaping Services Manager, Brad Vierkant

Editor’s note:  This post is part of our ongoing series of interviews with the various staff members at our Midwest native landscaping company.  In today’s post we’re talking with Brad Vierkant, one of our services managers.     Interviewer:  Brad, could you start out by telling us about what your particular job involves? Brad:  I am the services manager at our Princeton facility, one of six locations we have in the state of Minnesota.  That’s a fairly broad title, and it involves quite a number of...

July Means Collecting Seeds and Nuts for Native Trees & Shrubs

The month of July begins a transition time for our Boreal Natives’ tree and shrub production crew, as we start the process of wrapping up our planting of seedlings and plugs that we look forward to selling in the years ahead, to the collection of seeds and nuts that we will process into the transplants of the future. In the coming weeks we will concentrate on Amelanchier species (commonly referred to as Juneberries or serviceberries), Vaccinium species (lowbush blueberries), Cornus species (dogwoods), Prunus species (pin cherry, chokecherry, and sand cherry), and Symphoricarpus...

Interview with President Ron Bowen: How Our Minnesota Native Landscaping Company Got Its Start

Editor’s note:  President and founder Ron Bowen was interviewed by St. Cloud radio station KVSC manager Jo McMullen a few years ago prior to one of our Prairie Day events.  Among other things, Jo asked Ron about how he got his start in the native landscaping business.  What follows is an excerpt of that interview, which is basically our company’s back story.   Jo:  It’s probably become in vogue, if you will, in the last decade to restore prairies around businesses or for green-minded homeowners. But you’ve been doing this for...

Preserving Natural Prairie Lands in Minnesota

In our earlier post, we shared about pockets of remnant prairie that still remain in their natural state in Minnesota. When these areas are found, it’s crucial that we protect them from development and preserve what exists. In this article we’ll share about one success story – Roscoe Prairie.   About 20 mile west of St. Cloud near Paynesville there is an area called Roscoe Prairie.  It’s a beautiful little parcel, about 56 acres. In the St. Cloud area there are many outcroppings of granite.  Obviously rocky land like that couldn’t be plowed.  Farmers may have grazed their livestock on...

Identifying Natural Prairie Lands in Minnesota

At Prairie Restorations, Inc, most of our projects involve restoring prairies and other native landscapes in Minnesota and other states in our region.  These projects also involve converting already built landscapes into ecologically sound native landscapes.  But occasionally we hear about a pocket of land that still exists as it has been for hundreds of years.  And when we find those areas, it’s very gratifying, for a number of reasons. In the not-too-distant past, before...

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...

In the News: Our Anoka County Solar Farm Native Planting Project Gets Martha Stewart’s Attention

It is definitely pleasing and humbling when one of our native planting projects gets covered in the news, but that coverage is usually fairly local.  We might be featured on a Twin Cities news segment, or there may be a write-up in a Midwest publication, but the solar farm native planting for Connexus Energy caught Martha Stewart’s attention.  And she recently featured it in her online blog. One of the main benefits of planting native wildlife habitat in and around solar arrays is to provide support for threatened pollinators.  Other benefits include increased aesthetics, lower maintenance...

Interview with Colleen Hollinger: Working With Midwest Solar Developers

Editor’s note:  This month our employee spotlight is an interview with Colleen Hollinger, who handles public relations and business development for our Minnesota natural landscaping company.  One of Colleen’s areas is working with solar developers in planning and installing native landscaping as a part of solar sites.   Interviewer:  Colleen, could you tell us a little bit about what you do for Prairie Resto relative to solar development? Colleen:  My work here at PRI...
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