About Us


Wild Ridge Plants is owned and operated by Rachel Mackow and Jared Rosenbaum, and their young son, Beren. 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 are leaders in the ecological restoration community in New Jersey and 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:

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.

Rectangle-MapGuide-Link-Badge-250

 

 


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.

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 has extensive experience in stewardship and monitoring of natural communities. Recent botanical surveys include comprehensive floristic surveys and management monographs for Tourne Mountain County Park, and Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area, and Mahlon Dickerson Reservation.

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 propagation manager at Wild Ridge Plants and handles seed collection and germination.

 

For General Inquiries:

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

 


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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

Restoration & Other Plantings

Multiple Public Gardens and Parks – We supplied plants for public native plant gardens and parks, including Bulls Island State Park, 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.

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, in order to assure No Net Loss of habitat values in potential development scenarios.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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