Prairie Moon Nursery

About Prairie Moon Nursery

Our "Roots"

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. Doug was a former grad student of Aldo Leopold, the well-known 'father of wildlife ecology'.

Doug and Dot 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.

Why Natives?

Introducing native plants to your garden or land can bring many seasons of delight and discovery. Their many merits, though, exceed their virtues of beauty, resilience and appeal to birds and pollinators.

Ecosystem Restoration: Tallgrass prairies are North America’s most threatened major ecosystem, with about 99% plowed up or paved over since the 1830s. By planting native species, you are restoring ecosystems and preserving countless species that might otherwise be lost forever.

Keep the Circle complete – plant natives!

Predators like foxes, snakes and birds of prey rely on small mammals, amphibians, birds and insects for their survival. All of these prey species are sustained by native plants.

90% of our native insects are specialists, meaning they require a native host plant in their life cycle.

Birds sustain their young almost exclusively on native insects, primarily caterpillars. It takes thousands of caterpillars and insects in order to raise and fledge a clutch of young birds.

Essential nutrient cycling is expedited by carrion beetles, fly larvae and other scavenging insects, enriching the soil.

A few square feet or several acres, we can all make a difference… HOPE GROWS IN EVERY BACKYARD

Learn More at!


Production Intern

May 2019 - August 2019 Winona, MN
“Coworkers were great and I learned a lot about native plants.”

Agricultural Production intern

June 2019 - August 2019 Winona, MN
“Great people work here”
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