Highstead’s Operations Director Geordie Elkins and Grounds and Facilities Coordinator Jesse Hubbard took members of the Connecticut Northeast Organic Farmers Association (CT NOFA) on a virtual tour of Highstead. With an introduction by Sefra Alexandra, Lead of CT NOFA’s Pollinator Health Initiative, the 12-minute video describes the NOFA Ecotype Seed Project as well as Highstead’s role in the project, its history on the property and its ongoing commitment to advancing plant science.
Geordie and Jesse describe the steps the seed collectors take to responsibly collect and grow the native plants, including:
- Identifying a wild stand
- Monitoring the site
- Collecting , cleaning and stratifying the seeds
Geordie also explains how Highstead’s founding as an arboretum and commitment to plant science motivated its involvement in the project.
“At Highstead, it’s really important to us to have a place here where nature can really thrive,” says Geordie. “Part of our mission is to get others to adopt that same ethic.”
He sees this playing out in the Ecotype Seed Project. After propogating the native plants, they are provided to the nursery industry and to farmers who can then distribute them to homeowners who can turn their turf grass into a pollinator meadow.”
“That is something exciting to see,” he adds.”This landscape desert of suburbia reclaimed with natural plantings that benefit pollinators and the environment in general is really what our work is all about.”