Monday, July 21, 2014

Going Native

Native American Seed is a seed propagation farm and seed cleaning and sales business, located a few miles from Junction, Texas. The 262-acre property includes a mile of frontage on the Llano River—the source of irrigation water for the 60 acres devoted to cultivating native plants for seed. In addition to the farm’s riparian habitat, the acreage encompasses bottomland hardwood forest, an alluvial flood plain and uplands. The business is owned and operated by two generations of the Neiman family—Bill and Jan, who founded it near Dallas in 1988 and relocated it to Junction in 1995, and their children Emily and Weston. After finishing college and working briefly elsewhere, Emily and Weston have returned home to work with their parents. The Neimans harvest seeds not only from the plants they cultivate, but also from widely scattered remnants of the prairie, and their business is the foremost seed source for numerous plant species native to the ecosystems of Texas and surrounding states, including those of northern Mexico. 

If you farm or ranch and are restoring native plants to your landscape for wildlife habitat and livestock forage, you’ve probably bought seeds from the Neimans. If you live in the city and cultivate native plants on your property or are involved in native plant projects in parks and other spaces, you’ve probably bought seeds from the Neimans, too. And if you attend conferences of conservation organizations, you’ve probably heard Bill Neiman speak about native plants and his long and varied work with them. 

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