• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

What species do you want to see @ an online permie nursery? +what qualities?

 
Michael Longfield
Posts: 67
Location: Southern IL zone 6B
5
books toxin-ectomy trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Howdy,

I'm a year into developing my online permaculture nursery.  I thought I'd get some feedback from the permaculture community.  What qualities do you look for in a good online permaculture nursery?  What species do you want to see in stock?  What species do you have a hard time sourcing that you wish were more available?

Thanks so much!

 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 97
Location: Zone 8b Portland
food preservation forest garden fungi
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd say okios tree crops is a good example to follow. They stock a bunch of leguminous trees and their prices are good.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 1592
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands
274
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Michael Longfield wrote:What qualities do you look for in a good online permaculture nursery? 


All the plant material is grown in my valley, and has been for several generations or more.

Michael Longfield wrote:What species do you want to see in stock?


Species that can be expected to thrive in my valley and/or  the immediately adjacent valleys that are colder/warmer.

Michael Longfield wrote:What species do you have a hard time sourcing that you wish were more available?


I pretty much want species from the dry areas of central Asia. I don't have much interest in natives.
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 446
Location: North-Central Idaho
23
books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would like to see an extensive offering of leguminous trees, bushes, etc. along with perennials that are drought and cold tolerant.  A lot of the stuff that was developed in the old Soviet Union would be great... 
 
Carma Nykanen
Posts: 33
Location: Kalama, WA
1
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have given some thought to a permies nursery.

This isn't quite what you are asking but perhaps it's of interest.

I'd like to see a 'guild' being offered for sale. 

As part of the 'buy a guild' it could be offered per zone, or have a 'pick one of all of these options that will do well in your zone' for each of the seven layers.

Into berries and fruit... here is a guild for you!  Wanting perennial veggies with a bit of herbs and nuts?  How about a chicken feed bonanza guild, this one's for you!

Fodder for the livestock?  You see....?

There seems to be so much mystery in what you can put together and why.  As part of the 'sit back and observe' a person can learn a lot from something that is more likely to work.....

With this interactive web site/catalog permies nursery it could end up being a major educational tool.  Likely introducing many to what Permaculture can be about.

just some thoughts...
 
David Livingston
steward
Pie
Posts: 2410
Location: Anjou ,France
70
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Stuff I cannot get else where
Like Medlars like new Russian cultivars of Quince you can eat off the tree , like cold hardy pomigranets , cold hardy avocardos
I would also like it to be in europe please
 
Nicole Alderman
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 979
Location: Pacific Northwest
89
duck forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I tend to order from nurseries where the price is affordable and I can get multiple plants that I want at once. If a store only has, say, hardy kiwis, I'm less likely to order from them than one that has arrowhead, hardy kiwis, pawpaws, ground nuts, sweet cicily, fruit tress (both rare and common), Good King Henry, seakale, perennial onions, tea plants, watercress, szechuan peppers, yacon, and/or other edible perennials.

When I'm looking for a plant, I always search through the rest of the nursery to see what other edibles they have that I've been looking for. If they have something I've had on my list for a while, I'll probably buy it then. There's a LOT of plants that I've just been waiting for a good deal to buy, because I simply don't have money. I tend to invest in 1-5 new perennial species per year, as that's all I have the money for. Last year I got camas, lingonberry, bunchberry, service berry, and arrowhead. The first four were all ordered from the same place. I really just needed the camas, but they had the other plants, too, so I bought those as well. I also research any other interesting plants that they sell that I don't know about, and if it seems good, I might buy it, too.

Being a relatively beginner gardener, I much prefer small plants over seeds or cuttings. I want something that I know I will most likely not accidentally kill (or be unable to start growing), but also isn't such a large plants that I'll have to spend $30 on it rather than $10. I simply don't have a lot of money, and while I definitely understand selling plants to make a profit, I just can't afford them. But, if you've got some of the other plants on my list, or something really cool, I might be able to persuade my husband and myself to buy them that year, rather than a few years later.

As for climate/growing conditions, I look for things that will survive in zones colder than mine (zone 8a), as well as things that can tolerate wet feet, can tolerate shade, and are generally hard to kill and fast to multiply/produce. If it's native to my area, I'm also more likely to buy it. And, it has to be edible, because I can't afford companion plants that I can't also eat!

My current list of plants I'm looking/interested in buying are: hardy kiwis, pawpaws, improved ground nut species, sweet cicily, fruit tress (both rare and common. I'd like to start growing pears this year), Good King Henry, seakale, tea, watercress, szechuan peppers, yacon, and/or other edible, interesting perennials. A lot of those plants/varieties I found out about only by searching through nursery catalogs.

Oh! And the more information you can give me on a plant and how to grow it, the better. If I don't know about a plant, but you educate me on how awesome it is, I might just buy it! I spend a lot of time exploring and researching plant catalogs, since I don't have money.
 
Todd Parr
Pie
Posts: 553
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
6
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Like others, I want nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs and anything edible that is cold hardy.  I would like to see seeds offered if you can stock things other than typical seeds that I can find everywhere.  I would like to see things stocked that may be considered a nuisance some places, but that permies like.  Things like common comfrey and autumn olive.

From a business aspect, please, please have a well functioning search feature and an easy, intuitive web page.  If you don't, I will probably never visit your site a second time.  I'm not an unsophisticated web user; I have been in IT my entire adult life.  If I have trouble navigating a website or finding what I want, I can only imagine how much trouble people have that aren't working on computers all day.  I am always surprised at sites that don't have very simple things that most people need.  If I'm searching for trees, shrubs, and plants, isn't it common sense that I would like to be able to look at everything you have for zone 4 and colder?  It doesn't seem like much to ask.
 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 97
Location: Zone 8b Portland
food preservation forest garden fungi
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I really like the "buy a guild idea"!
 
Nicole Alderman
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 979
Location: Pacific Northwest
89
duck forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Todd Parr wrote:
From a business aspect, please, please have a well functioning search feature and an easy, intuitive web page.  If you don't, I will probably never visit your site a second time.  I'm not an unsophisticated web user; I have been in IT my entire adult life.  If I have trouble navigating a website or finding what I want, I can only imagine how much trouble people have that aren't working on computers all day.  I am always surprised at sites that don't have very simple things that most people need.  If I'm searching for trees, shrubs, and plants, isn't it common sense that I would like to be able to look at everything you have for zone 4 and colder?  It doesn't seem like much to ask.


Very much this! I once ran across an online nursery that only had a catalog...there was no subsection for "edible plants" or even "trees" or "shrubs," let alone shade/sun, or zone. And, everything was by it's latin name, with no pictures. To find out if they had anything I wanted, I had to click through the entire index of plants, page by page and then open up every plant that looked mildly interesting. It was atrocious! Their prices were good, and they had an extensive list of plants. But, I wasn't able to easily navigate, and ended up not buying anything.

If you sell edible and non edible plants, please at least have a section titled "edible plants" so I don't have to weed through all the plants in your catalog to find the ones useful to me!
 
David Hernick
Posts: 27
Location: Oakland, CA
1
chicken fungi trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Michael, it looks like you are in southern Illinois.  Ground Plum Milk Vetch is very hard to get as a small plants and it is hard to propagate.  Prairie moon has seed. https://www.prairiemoon.com/seeds/wildflowers-forbs/astragalus-crassicarpus-ground-plum.html

Toona sinensis is another one that is hard to find, especially at a reasonable price.

Ramps

Lespedeza capitata, roundhead bushclover & sericea lespedeza (which can help control parasites in sheep an goats)

Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus - the seeds are tiny and you cant find the plants




 
Michael Longfield
Posts: 67
Location: Southern IL zone 6B
5
books toxin-ectomy trees
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks so much for these great replies!  I will consider them all when designing my nursery. 

I too have similar frustrations and desires when it comes to online nurseries.  For example, all the online seed companies that I had to painstackingly search all their alphabetical sections trying to compile their entire list of perennial vegetables.  If only they had a "perennial vegetable section".

So far I'm propagating...
woody crops: chestnut, hazelnut, antonovka apple, black locust, osage orange, siberian pea shrub, sea buckthorn berries
tubers: chinese wild yam, groundnut, jerusalem artichokes, chinese artichokes
seed crops: sea kale, caucasian mountain spinach

+others I'm probably forgetting.

This fall I'm propagating selected chestnut varieties from the research and development done by university of Missouri, selected hazelnuts
+peaches, quince, stone fruit, autumn olive, persimmon, eucommia, red bud, pear root stock, hardy kiwi, hawthorn, juneberry, gooseberry, currants

I'm working on having very detailed info pages on each plant, which is something I'm often surprised is missing from online nurseries.  I want lots of detail, as well as a quick reference summary.  I'm also trying to make the plants as affordable as possible, and giving bulk discounts.

Thanks so much yall! Keep it comming if you can.  I'm building this to serve this community! 
 
Michael Longfield
Posts: 67
Location: Southern IL zone 6B
5
books toxin-ectomy trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In the future I want to offer lots of selected genetics of plants that are more cold hardy than is normal, and lots of exotic perennial vegetables.  I love the guild idea, and being able to search plants by hardiness zone and uses. 

I also bought the domain permaculturenutrition.com.  I want to spread the message of perennial nutrition from my nursery, and have lots of nutritional information on plants.  And give ideas on how you can design a food ecosystem that will supply a balanced diet. 
 
John Weiland
Pie
Posts: 618
Location: RRV of da Nort
16
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I hope you are able to make a go of this idea, Michael, it would be  good resource for many not only starting their own permie living situation but as a general nursery of unusual offerings.

There is one approach I would consider, although it may make more work than you are interested in taking on.  Let's take a hypothetical case of someone wanting to purchase hazelnut stock from you.  In one vision of your nursery, you might have on hand bare root or potted nursery stock or also offer seeds of these exact same varieties.  However, an additional offering might be the same species of hazelnut sold as a "Mixed origin" brown bag of starter seed....seed that has been sent to you from, or collected by you at, many different locations.  The reasoning here is something to which almost all nurseries will be attuned:  Their offerings are adapted for the location in which they were grown.  If, for certain items, you were to offer the "brown bag special" of seeds collected from many different locations, then the buyer would have to be aware of this up front, but be purchasing such an item on the odd chance that there is a better performer among the seed lot for his/her location.  It would seem to me that this would be more important for perennials, as once you have something growing, you don't want to find out years later that some aspect of fruit/nut frost tolerance or flowering date is not compatible with a buyers's location.   A lot of the public germplasm releases to seed companies are often of this "mixed brown bag"  type, since anything selected at, say, Southern Illinois University would not be expected to perform well in the high desert plains.  The idea is to send the brown bag collection of seed with higher than normal genetic diversity and let the receiver re-select the best performers out of that pool.

Again, not really a cost-effective avenue for all of the stock, but for some perennial items that are very sensitive to location, I can see where this would be a unique advantage for your nursery.
 
Eric Powell
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Winged Sumac and Basswood:  Both are good later-season nectar sources for honeybees and not easy to find for sale from my research.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic