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Native plant growing - a diversification option for your farm?

Venue: Hawthorn Farms

Host: Regenerate Grey Bruce

Host Web site:


Hawthorn Farms, 6923 Sideroad 2 W,
Mount Forest
N0G 2L0
( ON, CA )

When: Apr 29, 2023 @ 10:00 AM

Date: April 29th, 2023 Time: 10am - 3pm (bring your own lunch) Location: Chesley area Workshop leader: Kim Delaney, Hawthorn Farms

With regulatory changes and a rising awareness for the role of native vegetation for biodiversity and climate resilience, the market Native plants is evolving rapidly. However, supply with native plants remains a bottleneck for landscape regeneration - most nurseries are selling out rapidly.

Regenerate Grey Bruce wants to foster localized and decentralized production of native plants. For this end, we are seeking to form a partnership with local farmers with capacity to grow plants from seeds - market gardeners, nurseries, or other folks. This partnership is embedded into a larger value chain initiative, aimed at building capacity from collecting native seeds, to growing out native plants, and finally building a retail or wholesale market. Growers are not envisioned to market the plants themselves but through a local partnership.

If you are a farmer interested in integrating native plant growing into your operation, please join us for an in-person workshop for growers. The workshop will give an overview on the following:

  1. The Native Plant market - customers, products, and seasonality.
  2. The practicalities of growing
    • What plants are suitable for your farm? A decision guide.
    • From seeds to plugs - how to treat seeds, and what to consider about seeds.
    • From greenhouse to outdoor growing - what not to do, and what works.
    • Making marketable products - what’s to consider?
  3. Strategies to embed native plants into your operation

To build a native plant value chain, we first need to build supply. Inspired participants may take home native seeds for growing about 200 row feet of plants this season. We hope that 3-10 farmers will participate in this test pilot, build growing experience, and get ready for a larger marketing initiative in the next year(s) that would target landscapers and restoration projects.

The workshop is led by Kim Delaney. Kim is a master grower with more than 20 years of experience in native plants and seed growing. She authored Environment Canada’s guide to establishing prairie and meadow communities in Southern Ontario. She has worked with what is now Ontario Native Plants, growing close to 1 Million plants annually. Today, her main focus is the growing and processing of seeds for open pollinated vegetable varieties - she can offer a wealth of insights. About Regenerate Grey Bruce This workshop is presented by Regenerate Grey Bruce, a project supported by Greenbelt Foundation. Regenerate Grey Bruce is building a network of practitioners in landscape regeneration from our region, while formulating a narrative of hope for this region’s landscape in our changing climate. A new landscape narrative will require a collective effort of our community to change our relationship with the land, the way that we value the land’s ecological functioning, and even how we value the land and the creatures that inhabit it. We can only do this together as a community. The organizers include local farmers Thorsten Arnold and Madeline Marmor.

The Greenbelt Foundation is supporting projects that increase plant cover in the Greenbelt & Niagara Escarpment. The Greenbelt Foundation website is

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