Where Good Things Grow®

In July of 1989 after studying and working in horticulture for 15 years, Windy Meadow Nursery was founded with the ultimate objective of reducing the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the greenhouse and nursery. Borrowing from the saying “You are what you eat” I embarked on a thorough study of soil science, plant nutrition and microbiology to create the first disease suppressive WSDA certified organic potting soil in the United States. We are celebrating thirteen years of growing in our own certified organic potting soil. What started as a proactive stand on environmental issues such as nutrient retention and integrated pest management has blossomed into a holistic production system that continuously strives to use resources efficiently, minimize waste and foster a greater understanding of sustainable production practices in the horticulture industry and for our customer, home gardeners. Read more

In Search of the Holy Grail

After years of growing plants, any grower worth his salt is always looking for ways to tweak a little more production from his farm.

In 2002 as part of our ongoing research efforts developing sustainable nursery practices, we started to trial a new product that was new to the agricultural industry that promised accelerated growth, and an increased resistance to disease and insects of a variety of agricultural row crops. The new product was Messenger. Messenger contains harpin protein that induces plants to turn on its natural defense systems. Since that time it has been discovered but not well documented that other non pathogenic microbes can elicit the same responses when colonization occurs over the entire plant Read more

Compost Tea or Me

Chemical fertilizer has been in use only since the 1940’s. So if we embrace the past with a renewed understanding of the whole intricate system, we can prosper while at the same time make the earth a better place.

Soil biology has to come from the soil, if you are growing in a substrate that won’t support microbial activity, then you need to make adjustments to the mix so it will. The idea of applying compost tea preparations on a near daily basis is flawed. Read more

Understanding Organics

In 1989, I started Windy Meadow Nursery with the idea that the plants I produced would perform better in the landscape than my competitors, if I developed a superior growing medium. Armed with fifteen years of experience in horticulture, I experimented with combining various animal manures, organics, and chemical fertilizers in the greenhouse soil. That year I noticed some tip burn on the leaves of Asiatic Lilies that I started breeding as a hobby in 1986. The super phosphate I was using is commonly contaminated with the impurity fluoride and was causing the tip burn. Read more

How Sustainable Are We?

Striving for a smaller environmental impact.

The Best Management Practices Windy Meadow Nursery and The Center for Holistic Advanced Organic Studies Ltd. have implemented to be good Horticultural Stewards.

The Original Green Industry

Most of us working in the “green” industry are professional environmentalists whether we realize it or not. We create plants that clean the air of toxins and avert global warming by converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. We increase intrinsic property values and personal enjoyment by improving the ambiance of the world, one garden at a time. We enhance natural wildlife habitats, and conserve valuable aquifers by reducing soil erosion and increasing water infiltration. Today, the rest of the world is falling over each other to be seen as ecologically friendly and sustainable. In the day and age when engaged couples can use the Internet to calculate the carbon footprint of their impending nuptials, consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the raw materials in the products they purchase. Read more

Early Research Into Biological Agents

In 1987 I moved to Ferndale, Washington to manage a United Agri Products fertilizer plant, interpreting soil samples and formulating fertilizer programs for a diverse array of small fruit and agricultural crops in Whatcom County. I had graduated with a B.S. in Horticulture from Washington State University and was a few credits short of a second major in Soil Science. I had always been fascinated with how plants grow and the affects of different types of fertilizers have on plant growth, so by the time I graduated in 1984, I had ten years of experience in formulating fertilizers I attended regular training seminars offered by all the different chemical and fertilizer suppliers and learned a great deal about soil science and cutting edge agricultural practices. Read more