Our "Roots" - About Prairie Moon Nursery

Prairie Moon Nursery can trace its three decades of vigorous growth back to seeds sown by idealists and activists working for ecological and social renewal. Early 1970s prairie pioneers encouraged development of nurseries to propagate native plant and seed stock. Among those who accepted that challenge were Doug and Dot Wade, who opened Windrift Prairie Nursery at their Oregon, Illinois, home.

They experimented with propagating a diversity of native species, helped by their son Alan when he visited from his home in Winona, Minnesota. In the late 70s Alan moved south of town to Wiscoy Valley Community Land Cooperative, which was organized in 1976 around the principles of collective land stewardship, social justice and consensual decision-making. This lively cradle was where Prairie Moon was born when Alan Wade, joined by several fellow community members, starting selling native seeds out of his living room. It was 1982. Our main facilities moved two miles away in 2008 to accommodate our growth, but most of the nursery’s plantings are still located on the land co-op, where many of us who own and work at Prairie Moon are resident members.

We still grow plants from Dot Wade’s collection and hundreds of others from throughout the upper Midwest. We work closely with a network of dedicated producers who sell their seed on consignment through Prairie Moon. We strive to provide excellent service, offering the highest quality native seeds, plants and advice. We are inspired and energized by our daily contact with so many individuals and organizations who share our passion for ecological preservation and restoration.

We’re all learning how to better assist nature through all of our experiments, from a tiny backyard planting to a multi-acre project.  Thank you for joining us in learning through growing.

Learn more:

Why Natives? The Circle of Life...

Understanding the Difference Between "Wildflowers" and Authentic Native Plants

Our Stand on Cultivars