The Germination of an Idea.
Over thirty years ago, long before “green” was much more than a color, a graduate student from the University of Illinois named Steve Apfelbaum was restoring some prairie in rural Wisconsin. It was the ’70s and even though the area was agricultural, very few (if any) of the neighbors understood why anyone would want to purposely put back the "weeds" (it wasn’t thought of as an ecosystem then) that their forefathers had worked so hard to get rid of.
“Back then, ‘Tree Hugger’ was the nicest thing they called you,” he remembers.
Then Steve noticed – to his horror – that virtually no plants were sprouting. It turned out that the native-prairie-plant seed Steve had purchased was of such poor quality, literally only 10% of it was viable. Not only was it a large expense to reseed, but it was a big embarrassment to Steve.
So Steve bought a 400-acre farm in rural Brodhead, Wisconsin, and began propagating native plants, both for sale as plants and as seed. His one rule was "The best quality, or we don't sell it." That was the beginning of Applied Ecological Services, Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries and our sister Restoration Nurseries.
Today, with over 100 employees, five offices, four nurseries and successful projects in 38 states, the District of Columbia, one US Commonwealth, four Canadian provinces and eight foreign countries, Steve smiles at his humble beginnings, as well as at the momentum the “Green” and “Sustainability” movements are gaining. And he likes to think that he had a small part in it.
Our retail plant area opens Friday, May 6th.
Wholesale Business: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm
Retail Business: Fridays afternoons only, otherwise by appointment
Please call 608.897.8641 ext 1033 and ask for Cindy to schedule your appointment today