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40 Years of Learning Through Growing

Four decades ago, Alan Wade and several of his friends began Prairie Moon Nursery selling seeds out of his living room. They were following in the footsteps of Alan’s parents, Doug and Dot Wade, who started one of the first North American native plant nurseries in the 1970s. We continue to grow the ecotypes first collected by the Wades along with a wide range of ecotypes from across the Midwest. 

We are inspired and energized by our daily contact with so many who share our passion for ecological preservation and restoration. We’re all learning how to better assist nature through our experiments, from tiny backyard plantings to multi-acre projects. 

Thank you for joining us these past 40 years in learning through growing.

Dot Wade and her husband Doug, a student of Aldo Leopold, started one of the first true wildflower nurseries, Windrift Prairie Shop and Nursery.

doug wade

In 1982, with encouragement from his parents, Alan Wade began shipping seed with neighbors Vic, Tony, and Yarrow from his small house.

The first catalog was a trifold pamphlet that sold for 50¢ in the early 80s. By the early 90s, we had nearly 250 natives to list, graduating to a traditional catalog experience for the reader.

A 2 room building was proudly built in 1987.
The upstairs was a bookkeeping office,
and downstairs was a small warehouse.
Plumbing was a luxury, so we relied on an outhouse.

doug wade

We moved to computerized software in 1997 and launched our first website in 2003. This added efficiency and greatly expanded our customer reach.

doug wade

Construction began in 2007
on new land just 1 mile away.
This consolidated operations
under one 10,000 sq ft building,
with room to grow, or so we thought!

doug wade

In 2015, a greenhouse was added
to meet increasing plant demand.
By 2018, we tripled the greenhouse size.
Coming in 2022-23: a modernized seed processing
building and office expansion.

doug wade

Covid-19 Update – We Are Still Shipping Orders

COVID-19 UPDATE – We Are Still Shipping Orders

Published 3/20/20.  Updated 3/26/20.

To Our Customers & Friends,

We are grateful and inspired to hear from so many of you how gardening brings you peace during this time of social distancing and uncertainty.

We would like to address a few potential questions about your native plant order and the well-being of Prairie Moon Nursery.

Like many of you are experiencing, our workday here at Prairie Moon has changed and continues to change daily. Let us first emphasize that the health and safety of our staff, families, and community is at the forefront of the decisions we are making in this unprecedented time. We are diligently following science-based recommendations and the guidance of public health officials. During the coronavirus pandemic, our goal is to continue operations to the fullest extent possible given the current circumstances. Some employees are working remotely. We don’t anticipate any disruption in answering your phone calls or emails during this time, but many of us live in rural locations with slow internet. As we navigate our new remote work applications, we ask for your patience. For our employees that are continuing to come out to the Nursery, we are practicing social distancing, adjusting work schedules to minimize contact across teams, and sanitizing our workspaces daily.

Now, to a few potential questions:

Are you still open during Minnesota’s “Stay-at-Home” order?
Yes. Prairie Moon will continue to operate as an essential agricultural business (Category 1114: Greenhouse, Nursery, and Floriculture Production). Orders can be placed online, over-the-phone, or through the mail.

I have an open order.  Will it still be sent?
Yes. We expect to begin shipping plants on schedule this spring. Our bare root plants will ship, by order date, beginning mid-April. Potted plants will begin late-April based on both order date and plant readiness. We have been sending email reminders with shipping windows this winter; those shipping estimates remain accurate. If our plant shipping departments are compromised by illness or we foresee a delay in your order, we will reach out to you immediately.

I’m considering placing an order.  Are there any changes I should be aware of?
No. As is normal for this time of year, some of our most popular plants are beginning to sell out. Our website has the most updated availability for seed, plants, and tools and we’re ready for your order.

My Earth Day, Arbor Day, school, park district, or community event has been cancelled. Can I return or cancel my order?
Yes. We understand these are unusual circumstances and we are making exceptions to our normal cancellation & return policy. Please contact us right away to let us know about your specific situation by calling 866-417-8156, or email [email protected]

I live near Prairie Moon and would like to pick up an order. Should I change my plans?
As a reminder, we are not a retail garden center; we are a mail-order nursery. To save shipping costs, local customers have been able to pick up orders in the past. At this time, we would prefer to ship your order to minimize the number of people coming to the Nursery. If you have already arranged a plant pick up, we will contact you.

I’ve signed up for one of your summer tours. Are they still on?
We feel it’s too early to make the call yet for our June, July, and August tours, but please visit our website for updates as the tours draw near.  If you have already signed up for a tour, we will be in touch with any changes.

We are grateful for your ongoing support and
commitment to the environment.

We believe nature provides solace and peace even in the most
challenging times, and we hope you find
sanctuary in the outdoors this spring.

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