About Us

Wild Ridge Plants is owned and operated by Rachel Mackow and Jared Rosenbaum. They are located in Pohatcong Township, NJ where Warren County’s rolling farmland meets the Musconetcong River and the rugged ridges of the Highlands.

They offer a comprehensive toolkit of services including a native plant nursery, habitat restoration design, environmental education, and botanical surveys. They take inspiration from a deep study of the natural world, and from permaculture, herbalism, foraging, and ethnobotany.

Recent and current Wild Ridge Plants projects include: a permaculture-based woodland restoration at Great Road Farm; restoration species selection, custom on-site seed collection, and propagation for Bull’s Island State Park; a custom native plant green roof for Mercer Meadows County Park; and a comprehensive botanical survey with management recommendations for Mahlon Dickerson Reservation in Morris County. Wild Ridge Plants is also the developer and naturalist advisor for Sourland Stewards, a regional, community-based stewardship program, in coordination with the Sourland Conservancy.

Read more about us:

An Increasingly Rare Breed, by Erin Eck, Gardening in the Sky blog, February 6, 2018. A piece on field botanists, including Jared Rosenbaum, written by a head gardener at New York City’s famed linear park, The High Line.

The New Nativists article, by Fran McManus, Edible Jersey magazine, Winter 2014. A nicely-penned overview of Wild Ridge Plants at our previous location.

A Family Business from the Wild Ridge Plants blog. Jared Rosenbaum, co-owner of Wild Ridge describes our vision and business practices with both humor and gravity.

We’re featured in National Geographic’s guide to the Scenic, Wild Delaware River.


Rachel Mackow is dedicated the restoration of native plant communities that sustain and engage both people and wildlife. She authors stewardship plans, lending her knowledge of restoration practices and invasive species management. She enjoys helping people reconnect to plants and self-reliance through teaching foraging skills, herbal practice, and traditional plant uses. On the farm, Rachel manages the nursery operation.

She is a member of the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team’s Technical Advisory Committee.

Rachel’s honest and humorous autobiographical writing features stories about farm life, family, using wild plants, and instinctual mothering. She is also an accomplished photographer. Her work has been exhibited published and exhibited internationally. Read more at her blog at The Shagbark Speaks.

 

Jared Rosenbaum is a botanist and native plant grower with extensive experience in stewardship and monitoring of natural communities. He is a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner by the Society for Ecological Restoration.

His recent botanical surveys include comprehensive floristic surveys and management monographs for Mahlon Dickerson Reservation and Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area.

He is the author of two books on native plants, including the children’s book The Puddle Garden. Jared is prominently featured in the documentary film Sourlands, and hosted the premier episode of The Creature Show. Jared is a botanist and the propagation manager at our nursery where he handles seed collection and germination.

For General Inquiries:

info [@] wildridgeplants.com or (609) 651-2705

 

 


2017 Year-In-Review

Previous years were about setting down roots. This year past was about growing outward. We have been seeking community, which is quite a buzzword. Communities are much more than people. Communities are set in a place, often formed around a place. We’ve come to look for something deeper than community. We are seeking a village.

The growing season of 2017 featured ample rain until late summer. Our new plantings thrived. Plantings set in the ground during the droughts of 2016 surprised us. Beautiful, scrappy and tough, the natives did well.

Jared was among the first group of New Jerseyans to become a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner through the internationally recognized Society for Ecological Restoration.

Our botanical survey work took us up north to limestone country on behalf of the Ridge & Valley Conservancy, to a Morris County Park along a major Revolutionary War byway, and to a Piedmont forest restoration in Hopewell.

The nursery expanded, especially our propagation area to make more room for slow-growing forest species. We also added mail order to our offerings.

Our crew continued to grow. We continued our internship with three individuals who inspired us every Tuesday for the entire growing season. Botanist Kerry Barringer was once again a seasonal employee, working with Jared on botanical surveys. Rachel’s hardworking mother continued to join us one afternoon a week. We love to hear her declare, “We really got a lot done today!”

Native plants – they bring us so much. Like family members, we love them, we worry about them. We tidy them up, we leave them alone. We wonder why they don’t behave as we wish. They have good years and difficult years. They startle us with their beauty, intelligence, and how fast they grow.

Native plants – they draw a unique and varied, often kind and sometimes oddball, human family to them. We are so grateful to be part of the village inhabited by people and plants.

 

NURSERY PROJECTS

Special Projects & Custom Growing

Mail Order – We added mail order to expand the reach for our most unique plants.

Native Plant Immersion Internship – The second year of our internship program featured three dedicated interns who joined us from May through October.

Alliance for Downtown New York – With horticultural staff of ADNY, we developed a native plant palette for gardens, containers, and tree rings in lower Manhattan. They are currently trialing our plants in various locations. We are custom growing species for 2018 plantings.

Central Park Conservancy – We entered our fourth year of custom growing for the Central Park Conservancy. We custom grew four native Rubus species for plantings within Manhattan’s largest open space. Read more about this project.

Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space – We grew three guilds of species of native woody and herbaceous plants for Mount Rose Preserve in Hopewell. Three forest habitats were included: upland, mesic, and wetland.

Weatherwood Design – Our plants are featured in a green roof that David Hughes of Weatherwood Design created on his property. We helped install this unique project.

 

Restoration & Other Plantings

Multiple Nature Preserves, Public Gardens and Parks Bergen County Audubon Society, Clinton Conservancy Gardens, Duke Farms, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, Morris County Park Commission, Sourland Conservancy with Mercer County Park Commission.

Our plants were included in school gardens at Colonia High School and Passaic Valley Regional High School, and Alice and Herbert Sachs Therapeutic Conservatory at MossRehab/Einstein Healthcare Network.

 

In the Community

As vendors, we participated sales hosted by Lambertville Goes Wild, Master Gardeners of Mercer County Plant Expo, the Stockton Market, Whole Earth Center of Princeton, NOFA-NJ, and the Native Plant Society of NJ.

We continue to provide native plants to native plant sales at several non-profits, including Musconetcong Watershed Association, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Schuykill Center for Environmental Education, and NJ Audubon Society.

At the Farm

We held our third annual Autumn Open GreenHouse in Pohatcong. We also added a Spring Open GreenHouse and Sun to Sugar, a summer event.

 

STEWARDSHIP CONSULTING

Society for Ecological RestorationJared was among the first group of New Jerseyans to become a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner through this internationally recognized group.

Great Road Farm For a four year old, four acre forest restoration (say that fast!) our native permaculture and successional design at Great Road Farm is thriving, with abundant wildflowers blooming as fruiting shrubs and other native food plants mature. Read more about this project.

Flat Rock Brook We developed step-by-step restoration plans for stewardship staff at this nature preserve in highly urbanized northeast New Jersey, including meadow and forested areas.

Ironbound Farm At Ironbound Farm – home of the socially progressive and delicious Ironbound Cider – we began organic site preparation methods as a precursor to a multi-acre restoration meant to introduce swards of native wildflowers.

Private Lands and Farms We worked with private landowners in various counties on stewardship of their properties, native plantings, invasive plant removals, and deer management.

Morris County Park Commission – We conducted botanical surveys to inform land management practices at Lewis Morris County Park and Fosterfields, (2400 acres total) in the Morris County Park system. We brought Ecological Solutions, LLC and botanist Kerry Barringer on board as part of our team on this project.

New Jersey Highlands Council We’re part of a team developing stewardship methodologies for the New Jersey Highlands region in a series of documents for the New Jersey Highlands Council.

Ridge and Valley Conservancy We performed botanical surveys and developed management recommendations to support stewardship at a preserve featuring a stunning limestone cliff and sinkhole pond and numerous rare plant species.

Sourland Stewards We continue to work for the Sourland Conservancy in creating Sourland Stewards, a comprehensive resident stewardship program. This year, Jared developed and led a hands-on ecological restoration training program for volunteers in the area. Read more about this project.

Sweet Hollow Preserve We conducted rare plant surveys on this NJDEP Natural Lands Trust preserve.

 

PROGRAMS & EDUCATION

Jared ran Field Botanist, a five-part field botany intensive at Duke Farms for a second year. Jared was also a speaker at the Native Plant Society of New Jersey conference. Rachel was a speaker for the Mid-Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network’s annual conference.

We presented programs at/or in partnership with: Duke Farms, Hunterdon County Division of Parks and Recreation, Morris County Park Commission, Schiff Natural Lands Trust, Silver Lake Nature Center, Sourland Conservancy, Warren County Preservation Day, and here at Wild Ridge, including Native Plants and Permaculture, co-presented with Johann Rinkens of Fields Without Fences.

Lehigh Gap Nature Center will be distributing copies of Jared’s children’s book, The Puddle Garden, to Pennsylvania schools and libraries.

 

WRITING

Wild Plant Culture – Jared’s blog featuring stories and articles exploring connections between people and wild plants in the Northeast. Articles this year ranged from Floristic Quality Assessment to edible species of the seacoast.

The Shagbark Speaks – The Shagbarks Speaks reached the ten year milestone. Rachel continues to write about family, culture, and the natural world. Find her on Facebook.

Skylands VisitorRachel wrote an article about the spring wildflowers of Musconetcong Gorge Reservation and Jenny Jump State Forest for the Skylands Visitor magazine.

 

MEDIA

National Geographic We are participants in the Scenic, Wild Delaware River online travel guide.


2016 Year-In-Review

We’ve set in deep roots at our farm here in hilly Pohatcong. Having our nursery infrastructure completed and beautiful plantings maturing has allowed us to add new species to our nursery, and offer a number of classes here at the farm. Meanwhile, our offsite work doing botanical surveys and stewardship planning expanded and kept Jared running around all summer.

Drought made this season tricky – many plants grew well, but some species we rely on collecting seed from in the wild suffered and did not fruit. Taking heed, we’ve expanded our in-ground planting beds on the farm for future seed collection.

Our botanical surveys spanned multiple ecoregions, including a comprehensive survey and stewardship assessment at Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area in the Highlands, and rare plant surveys at Island Beach State Park and in Piedmont areas of Hunterdon and Mercer Counties.

Our crew also grew. We had our first intern, who both worked in the nursery and on botanical surveys. Botanist Kerry Barringer was a seasonal employee, working with Jared at Pyramid Mountain. Rachel’s mother continued to work with us one afternoon a week.

We’re appreciative of our long-standing and new clients as we end our fifth year of business. We’re also thankful for those who host and attend our programs.

 

NURSERY PROJECTS

Custom Growing

Central Park Conservancy – We completed year three of a three-year project with the Central Park Conservancy. We custom grew four native Rubus species for plantings within Manhattan’s largest open space. Read more about this project.

Winfree Lab at Rutgers University – We provided technical assistance and native wildflowers to Dr. Rachael Winfree and colleagues for a National Science Foundation grant supported pollinator research.

 

Restoration & Other Plantings

Multiple Public Gardens and Parks – We supplied plants for public native plant gardens and parks, including Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, Land Conservancy of NJ, Morris County Park Commission, North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development, Raritan Headwaters Association, Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association, the Women’s Club of Tewksbury, and numerous private businesses.

 

In the Community

As vendors, we participated in the Master Gardeners of Mercer County Plant Expo and the Sourland Music Festival for the third year running. New sales included an enjoyable and well-attended sale at the Whole Earth Center of Princeton, our friends from Weatherwood Design and the Native Plant Society of NJ. We teamed up again with them as vendors at Weatherwood’s autumn Open House and NPSNJ’s Fall Conference.

We continue to provide native plants to native plant sales at several non-profits, including Musconetcong Watershed Association, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, and NJ Audubon Society.

 

At the Farm

The most jubilant and energetic visit was from the 5 and 6 year olds from our son’s school. We also offered nursery tours to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of NJ and the Native Plant Society of NJ.

We also held our second annual autumn Open GreenHouse in Pohatcong.

 

STEWARDSHIP CONSULTING

Great Road Farm Our permaculture restoration of four acres has matured and is filled with swards of wildflowers as successional elements such as fruiting and nut-bearing woody plants mature. This project was implemented together with our colleagues at Fields Without Fences. Practices were all organic and included the planting of perennial food crops and native wildflowers. Read more about this project.

Ironbound Farm We’re excited to be part of the progressive social and ecological hub that is Ironbound Farm — creators of Ironbound Hard Cider. Jared performed botanical suveys and advised stewardship of forty acres of woodlands, seeps, and streams with an eye towards native diversity and wild edible species.

 

Island Beach State Park We conducted rare plant surveys at this state park.

Morris County Park Commission – We conducted botanical surveys to inform land management practices at Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area, (2,000 acres) in the Morris County Park system. We brought Ecological Solutions, LLC and botanist Kerry Barringer on board as part of our team on this project.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation We conducted rare plant surveys in Hunterdon and Mercer Counties on behalf of this non-profit advocate.

New Jersey Highlands Council We’re part of a team developing stewardship methodologies for the New Jersey Highlands region, and using Floristic Quality Assessment in order to assure No Net Loss of habitat values in potential development scenarios.

New Jersey Natural Lands Trust We conducted rare plant surveys Sweet Hollow Preserve.

Private Lands and Farms We advised private landowners in various counties on stewardship of their properties, native plantings, invasive plant removals, and deer management.

Sourland Stewards We continue to work for the Sourland Conservancy in creating Sourland Stewards, a comprehensive resident stewardship program. Sourland Stewards brings materials and experiences to the doors of Sourlands residents exploring a nature connection as informed stewards. Read more about this project.

Warren County We worked with the Department of Land Preservation, County of Warren, NJ to implement and create ecological management and planting plans for Bread Lock Park, Port Warren, and adjacent private lands. Read more about this project.

 

PROGRAMS & EDUCATION

Our programming about wild edible and medicinal plants, native plant gardening, permaculture, ecology, and stewardship continues to be an enjoyable way to work with groups who feel similarly about plants. We appreciate our gracious hosts and program participants.

New for 2016: Jared developed Field Botanist, a four-part field botany intensive at Duke Farms. Jared was also a speaker at the Millerville Native Plant Conference and the Alliance for NJ Environmental Education conference.

We presented programs at/or in partnership with: Duke Farms, Great Swamp Watershed Association, Hunterdon Master Gardeners, Mercer County Master Gardeners, Monmouth County Master Gardeners, Native Plant Society of NJ, NOFA-NJ Winter Conference, Ralph Stover State Park, River Valley Waldorf School, Sourland Conservancy, Warren County Preservation Day, and here at Wild Ridge.


WRITING

Wild Plant Culture – Jared created a new blog featuring stories and articles exploring connections between people and wild plants in the Northeast. Native plants, ecological restoration, field botany, foraging, herbal medicine, and more.

The Shagbark Speaks The Shagbarks Speaks celebrated nine years and Rachel is still writing! Rachel’s blog about family, homesteading skills, and the natural world.

In The Sourlands – Jared and Rachel were regular contributors to this stewardship-oriented newspaper column authored by the Sourland Conservancy and published in the Hopewell Valley News.

Edible Jersey – Rachel wrote her final column for Grown Wild, which she first penned in 2013. “Travel Medicine”, ran in the Winter 2016 issue and was illustrated by Robin Tomlinson.

 

MEDIA

National Geographic We are participants in the Scenic, Wild Delaware River online travel guide.

 


2015 Year-In-Review

NURSERY PROJECTS

Custom Growing

Native Green Roof – Mercer County Parks Commission – We created an all-native plant green roof palette with Mercer County Park Commission and then propagated and grew all species for a 600 square foot green roof to be installed at Mercer Meadows.

Central Park Conservancy – We completed year two of a three-year project with the Central Park Conservancy. We are custom growing four native Rubus species for plantings within Manhattan’s largest open space. Read more about this project.

Restoration & Other Plantings

Multiple Public Gardens and Parks – We supplied plants for public native plant gardens and parks, including Bulls Island State Park (Read more about the Bull’s Island project), Duke Farms, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, Pottersville Fire Company, Round Valley Reservoir, Beech Mountain, and Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association.

School Rain Gardens – We supplied plants to Bridgewater High School’s rain garden. We collaborated with Hopewell Borough Elementary School staff, students, and parents to plant a native plant garden based upon The Puddle Garden, a children’s book by Wild Ridge Plants’ co-owner, Jared Rosenbaum.

 

Plant Sales

We held retail plant sales at: Master Gardeners of Mercer County Plant Expo, Sourland Music Festival, Whole Earth Center, Weatherwood Design Open House.

We provided native plants to native plant sales at several non-profits: Friends of Peace Valley Nature Center, Musconetcong Watershed Association, and New Jersey Audubon Society.

 

Nursery Tours

We offered nursery tours to the Master Gardeners of Hunterdon County and the Sussex chapter of the Native Plant Society of NJ.

 

Open House

We held our first autumn Open Greenhouse. We offered nursery and garden tours, a plant identification class, and special offers.

 

CONSULTING PROJECTS: Stewardship, Botany, and Education

Great Road Farm – We designed and implemented an permaculture design and forest restoration on four acres of degraded, blowdown former pine plantation, together with our colleagues at Fields Without Fences. Practices were all organic and included the planting of perennial food crops as well as native plant seeding. Read more about this project.

Multiple Private Landowners and Farms -We advised private landowners in various counties on stewardship of their properties, native plantings, invasive plant removals, and deer management.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation – We conducted rare plant surveys in Hunterdon and Mercer Counties on behalf of this non-profit advocate.

New Jersey Highlands Council – We prepared a Functional Ecosystem Valuation Methodology paper for the New Jersey Highlands Region, integrating Floristic Quality Assessment with other field and GIS-observed characteristics.

Morris County Park Commission – We conducted and managed botanical surveys to inform land management practices at Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, the largest park (3,200 acres) in the Morris County Park system. Our work was conducted in conjunction with the preparation of a Forest Stewardship plan for the park by New Jersey Audubon Society, to inform the ecological and botanical characterization of the park. We collaborated with Ecological Solutions, LLC and several botanists. Read more about this project.

Sourland Stewards – We designed a comprehensive resident stewardship program for the Sourland Conservancy called Sourland Stewards. The program brings materials and experiences to the doors of Sourlands residents exploring a nature connection as informed stewards. Read more about this project.

Stuart Country Day School – We prepared a conceptual plan for a “Wild Garden” for students and science educators at this school in Princeton, NJ.

Warren County – We worked with the Department of Land Preservation, County of Warren, NJ, to create ecological management and planting plans for Port Warren Park, Breadlock Park, and a conservation easement along the future Morris Canal trail.

 

PROGRAMS & EDUCATION

We taught classes and led hikes about wild edible and medicinal plants, native plant gardening, ecology, and stewardship at the following places: Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, Duke Farms, Hopewell Borough Public Library, Musconetcong Watershed Association, NOFA-NJ Winter Conference, Princeton Environmental Film Festival, Ralph Stover State Park, Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center, Sourland Conservancy, Sussex-Wantage Library, Warren County Preservation Day, Raritan Headwaters Association & at Wild Ridge Farm.

 

THE PUDDLE GARDEN

Jared reads The Puddle Garden to our son

In February Jared’s children’s book, The Puddle Garden, was published. He gave programs at Duke Farms, Far Hills Country Day School, Hopewell Borough Public Library, Hopewell Elementary School, Lambertville Public Library, and the Princeton Environmental Film Festival.

 

WRITING

Edible Jersey – Rachel’s column “Grown Wild“, about mothering, herbalism and wild edibles, is a regular feature in Edible Jersey magazine.

In The Sourlands – Jared was a regular contributor to this stewardship-oriented newspaper column authored by the Sourland Conservancy and published in the Hopewell Valley News.

Plant Healer Magazine – Jared’s monograph Spikenard (Aralia racemosa): Lifeways of a Lesser-Known Forest Herb was printed in Vol. V, Issue 11 of Plant Healer Magazine.

The Puddle GardenJared’s children’s book about native plants and wildlife was published in early 2015.

The Shagbark Speaks – Rachel’s blog about family, homesteading skills, and the natural world.

Wild Ridge Blog – Jared’s writings on plant uses, ecology, and lore.

 

MEDIA

The Creature Show, Episode One

Propagation rows

Jared was the guest host for the first episode of this documentary series on New Jersey wildlife. The first episode saw Jared travelling to the Great Swamp and Shades of Death Road to chronicle salamander migration and breeding, and interviewing Brian Zarate of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Endangered and Nongame Species Program.

Jared was featured on WDVR FM‘s programs Into The Garden (May 13, 2015) and These Days (March 16, 2015). He discussed his children’s book, The Puddle Garden and stewardship.

Rachel was featured on WDVR FM’s program Into The Garden (January 28, 2015) with Lindsay Napolitano and Johann Rinkens of Fields Without Fences and David Harder of Nature’s Way Market. They discussed herbal remedies for winter complaints.

We were featured in the Fall 2015 issue of Black River Journal.

Jared’s children’s book, The Puddle Garden, was highlighted in The State We’re In, a newspaper column by Michele Byers, Executive Director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

 


 

2014 Year-In-Review

 

NURSERY PROJECTS 

Custom Growing

Central Park Conservancy – We began a 3 year project with the Central Park Conservancy. We are custom growing three native Rubus species for plantings within Manhattan’s largest open space. Read more about this project.

 

Restoration & Other Plantings

Summer Triangles Project, Mercer Meadows, Kulak Preserve, and Nayfield Preserve – We supplied wildflowers to this ecological art project in Hopewell Township. The installation provide habitat for native pollinators.

Insect Walk, Mercer Meadows – We supplied a native wildflowers and vines to an educational garden.

Public Gardens and Parks, various – We supplied plants for public native plant gardens and parks, including City Green, Duke Farms, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, Mercer County Park Commission, Raritan County Community College, and Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association.

 

Plant Sales

We held retail plant sales at:

Duke Farms Farm to Table Market

Frenchtown Farmers Market

Highlands Festival at Waterloo

Master Gardeners of Mercer County Plant Expo

Sourland Music Festival

We also held a benefit sale for the NJ Native Plant Society.

And, we provided native plants to native plant sales at several non-profits: Friends of Peace Valley Nature Center, Musconetcong Watershed Association, and New Jersey Audubon Society.

 

STEWARDSHIP CONSULTING PROJECTS

Great Road Farm – We coordinated restoration practices, planting, and seeding of over four acres of degraded woodland, and developed a permaculture species list for an organic orchard on the farm. Read more about this project.

NJ Audubon Society – We managed botanical surveys to inform land management practices.

Multiple Private Landowners and Farms -We advised private landowners in Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic and Bucks County on stewardship of their properties, native plantings, invasive plant removals, and deer management. We collaborated with Weatherwood Design in creating formal landscaping plans utilizing native plants.

 

PROGRAMS & EDUCATION

We taught classes and led hikes about wild edible and medicinal plants, native plant gardening, ecology, and stewardship at the following places:

Allentown Garden Club

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve

City Green

Duke Farms

Eco-Schools USA Professional Learning Community Webinar Series

Hopewell Borough Public Library

Musconetcong Watershed Association

Princeton Environmental Film Festival /Farming at the Edge of Nature

Princeton School Gardens Cooperative’s Garden State on Your Plate

Rocky Brook Garden Club

Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center

Sourland Conservancy

Tyler State Park

Washington Crossing Audubon Society

 

WRITING

The Puddle GardenJared wrote a children’s book on native plants. His sister, Laura Rosenbaum, is the illustrator. It was successfully funded through Kickstarter and will be published in 2015.

Edible Jersey – Rachel’s column “Grown Wild”, about mothering, herbalism and wild edibles, is a regular feature in Edible Jersey magazine.

The Shagbark Speaks – Rachel’s blog about family, homesteading skills, and the natural world

Wild Ridge Blog – Jared’s writings on plant uses, ecology, and lore

 

MEDIA

Wild Ridge Plants was featured on radio and in print.

WDVR’s Into the Garden

Edible Jersey New Nativists 

 


 

 

2013 Year-In-Review

 

NURSERY PROJECTS

 

Custom Growing

Bull’s Island State Park – We collected seed onsite at Bull’s Island State Park and propagated plants ranging from spicebush to ostrich fern. These custom grown plants are being used in a multi-year restoration project of several acres of old-growth character forest in the southern portion of the island.

Princeton Hydro LLC – We performed a seedbank assay in collaboration with Princeton Hydro in preparation for a cranberry bog restoration in Massachusetts. Native species germinated from substrate up to 150 years old.

 

Restoration & Other Plantings

Fiddler’s Creek Preserve, Mercer County Parks – We supplied nearly 1,000 herbaceous and shrub species, from Virginia Rose to New Jersey Tea, to complement an afforestation project at the Fiddler’s Creek Preserve.

Public Gardens and Parks, various – We supplied plants for public native plant gardens and parks, including the Mercer County Master Gardeners Educational Garden (MEG), Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, Hopewell Valley Regional School District, Pohatcong Native Arboretum, Rutgers University Hutcheson Memorial Forest, Cheesequake State Park, and Raritan Valley Community College.

Fields Without Fences – We supplied native edible plants from groundnut to wild ginger for our friends, local permaculture pioneers Fields Without Fences.

 

Plant Sales

We participated in and held retail plant sales at a number of community events and farmer’s markets, including the Musconetcong Watershed Association’s native plant sale, the Master Gardeners of Mercer County Plant Expo, Peacocks Country Market, the Montgomery Farmers Market, the Princeton Farmers Market, the Sourland Music Festival, and the annual fundraiser of the Ridge and Valley Conservancy.

 

STEWARDSHIP CONSULTING PROJECTS

Great Road Farm – We drafted a plan for the restoration of approximately five acres of wooded and semi-open habitat at Great Road Farm, a local organic farm and CSA that supplies fresh produce to the community and Agricola Restaurant in Princeton, NJ.

Montgomery Friends of Open Space – We completed a baseline report and botanical survey for an easement acquisition.

NJ Audubon Society – We managed botanical surveys to inform land management practices.

Multiple Private Landowners We advised private landowners in Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon and Bucks County on stewardship of their properties, native plantings, invasive plant removals, and deer management. We collaborated with Weatherwood Design in creating formal landscaping plans utilizing native plants.

 

PROGRAMS & EDUCATION

Duke Farms – We taught classes on wild edible and medicinal plants as part of our Wild Plant Culture! series at Duke Farms.

Washington Crossing Audubon Society – Both Rachel and Jared gave presentations for the Washington Crossing Audubon Society’s monthly lecture program.

Montgomery Friends of Open Space – Rachel led a hike at the Rock Mill Preserve for our non-profit partners at MFOS.

Master Gardeners – We gave presentations on wild plants, gardening, and stewardship for Master Gardeners of Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, and Hunterdon Counties.

Hopewell Public Library – Jared and Rachel both gave presentations for our friends at the “red library” in Hopewell Borough.

Native Plant Society of NJ – Jared gave presentations at the Society’s spring and fall conferences.

Chickadee Creek Farm – We led a farm hike for CSA members at this local organic farm, walking through the wild and cultivated sections of the farm.

Schiff Natural Lands Trust – Rachel gave a presentation and hike at this local nature preserve and nature center.

Mid-Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network – Rachel presented about weeds and healing at their annual conference at Duke Farms.

Various Garden Clubs – Rachel gave presentations on wild plants, herbalism, and gardening for local garden clubs including the Navesink Garden Club and the Home Garden Club of Morristown.

Film Screening, Sourlands documentary – Jared was on the Q&A panel for screenings of Jared Flesher’s documentary film Sourlands at the Princeton Public Library’s Environmental Film Festival and elsewhere.

Private Lands Stewardship Program – Jared gave a presentation in support of the Friends of Hopewell Valley’s Private Lands Stewardship Program.

Sourland Conservancy – Jared gave a presentation about deer overabundance and native plants for our local non-profit advocacy group the Sourland Conservancy. As a trustee of this organization, he helped develop the Sourlands Comprehensive Deer Management Plan to bring our deer population back into balance with the natural world and curb the disappearance of plants and wildlife due to overbrowse.

Ridge and Valley Conservancy – Jared was the keynote speaker at this organization’s annual fundraiser.

 

WRITING

Edible Jersey – Rachel’s column “Grown Wild”, about mothering, herbalism and wild edibles, became a regular feature in Edible Jersey magazine.

The Shagbark Speaks – Rachel’s blog about family, homesteading skills, and the natural world

Wild Ridge Blog – Jared’s writings on plant uses, ecology, and lore

 

Portraits by Cari Ellen.