Natural habitat is an essential component of a healthy farm. We have been working since 2001 to conserve and restore habitat, and educate the community about farming and the environment. Through this work we have reduced erosion to our fields, seen our natural pollinators increase, and the wildlife diversify. Our soil and crops are healthier, and we are helping improve the water quality in a major salmon bearing river.
In the spring of 2013, we added a major component to conservation efforts with a new native plant program. The Oxbow Native Plant Nursery, in partnership with the University of Idaho Center for Forest Nursery and Seedling Research is a production, research and education facility. We are producing plants native to western Washington from local plant material, to be used for restoration and landscaping. Our work focuses on developing sustainable and organic growing practices for our plants, such as using compost produced from farm waste, creating irrigation systems that conserve water, and developing the least harmful pest management systems. Each season we host graduate students from the U of I, who conduct formal research on native plant production. We aim to grow the highest quality native plants, using ecologically sound practices, and become a facility fostering research and education that contributes to the restoration and nursery-growing community.