Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Business Rambling from the Prairie

Our dream is to run a small, boutique prairie nursery with local ecotype seeds (100 or less species). We'll have a 1/2 acre display garden that's highly designed and will be a destination in its own right, as well as idea generating. Out back will be a prairie. We may have a field solely for generating prairie seed. An artist or two will stay in small cabins in residency for a week or two at a time, helping give prairie another artistic voice. All of it will be tied together with events, activities, and technology that brings the prairie home, or brings us home. I have so many ideas I can't contain them -- ways to engage people with plants via approaches seldom conceived of... ways to make plants and gardens part of everyday culture again.

The last few weeks I've been researching trends in the nursery industry, and it all looks good for 2015 and what we're planning for -- if we were at that point (lotto ticket, don't fail me now). We'd be right in line with what's trending and what people are wanting. I'd like to focus on designing gardens and on consults, speaking around the country, writing books. That means I'll need a nursery manager and some sales people down the road.

Then legal issues arise for anyone who visits. Paying a livable wage with benefits to employees. Logistics of plant production that relies totally on winter stratification with minimal assistance from costly and earth-unfriendly heating, fertilizers, or pesticides. Go LLC? Probably, and keep the biz separate from the personal.

The business plan is progressing. Market research being developed. I'll be much more active in promoting Monarch Gardens this spring through new marketing measures and grassroots door knocking. I'm an introvert but I have a passion I can't contain. Prairie is too important. Climate change. Biodiversity. Us. Our home. A meme I saw today: "Activism is my rent for living on this earth." Prairie up.

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