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.
A SIMPLE START:
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.
JOINING THE WEB:
We moved to computerized software in 1997 and launched our first website in 2003. This added efficiency and greatly expanded our customer reach.
PRAIRIE LANE EST:
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!
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.