Elderberry Farms' mission is to promote awareness of the benefits of native plant habitat, encourage community involvement, and provide a source of local native plants for school & community gardens, restoration projects and home gardens.
Information Card These cards are meant for outreach events and businesses. You can pick up a supply of them at the Nursery.
WHY GARDEN WITH NATIVE PLANTS?Listen to an interview with Douglas Tallamy on YOU TUBE.
Native plants are adapted to the unique climatic conditions of their growing area and once established they require little or no supplemental irrigation once established while inviting birds, bees, and butterflies into your yard.
Host plants are the food source a critter, often the larval stage of a butterfly - the caterpillar. The caterpillars can eat only their 'HOST PLANT' and they do a lot of munching! It is good to know though that they do not harm the plant. In the Nursery we've seen pipevine with very few leaves left, but they leaf out again and the cycle continues. Ah Nature! Elderberry Farms grows Dutchman's Pipevine (California Pipevine) and 3 kinds of local Milkweed. We have had Narrowleaf and Showy Milkweed growing for years and have nice patches for our Monarch Butterfly visitors. In the winter of 2014-15 we installed a water-efficient Butterfly Waystation (see below). We planted it with many beautiful plants, including several Purple Milkweed. We look forward to seeing it blossom next spring!
Two great articles about BEES by WIRED author Gwen Pearson:
Its all about BEES! ... You’re Worrying About the Wrong Bees The bees you should be concerned about are the 3,999 other bee species living in North America, most of which are solitary, stingless, ground-nesting bees you’ve never heard of. Incredible losses in native bee diversity are already happening. 50 percent of Midwestern native bee species disappeared from their historic ranges in the last 100 years. http://www.wired.com/2015/04/youre-worrying-wrong-bees/
And Gardening for Bees: ... A bee’s gotta eat, and finding food through the spring and summer that provides a balanced diet is hard in a land of green, uniform lawns with no flowers. Even small patches of native plants can help. Many rare bee and butterfly species are specialists feeding on rare plants depending on rare insects for pollination–not a recipe for a stable ecosystem. (Julie Serences photographed these two bees having a sleepover in her garden. A Carpenter Bee and a Longhorn Bee.) http://www.wired.com/2014/03/gardening-bees/
9:00 - 12:00We work year-round each Wednesday. When it's hot, we work under the shade of Sycamores! When it rains we work in the Greenhouse! On these days we also work in our Demonstration Gardens.
The nursery is operated entirely by volunteers from Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS). Volunteers are always encouraged to become members of CNPS (of course!) but membership is not required to volunteer.
We also work in our demonstration gardens on Wednesdays. These are small sized landscapes that show others how to effectively use native plants in their own landscape. We need the help of community volunteers to maintain them. Please bring gloves and water. Tools and Snacks will be provided. Also Soil Born Farms' wildlife-friendly hedgerows in the crop fields are an example of conservation-based agriculture. These require special attention sometimes. Let me know if this interests you.
2nd Sunday Workdays - each month Pat Gilbert leads a workday from 10:00 - 1:00. The next 2nd Sunday Workday will be on June 14.
DID YOU KNOW? Phytophthora tentaculata has been threatening many Native Plant nurseries around the state. Luckily it has not found Elderberry Farms! Robin Rietz Propagation Director has been on top of the issue and has already instituted several ‘Best Practices’:
• Commercial organic soil blend only - stored in a bin so that no soil touches the ground or wood.
• New or sterilized pots only - we are now buying our 1 gallon pots and sterilizing all others that we reuse.
• Pots do not touch ground – whether planted or not, pots are only on gravel, cement blocks or benches
Now we need to correct a standing water problem by installing 30’ of French drain and putting in a sump pump to convey excess water out of the nursery. Then add more gravel over that entire area.
Sunday June 14th Nursery Workday
BUTTERFLY WAYSTATION! More to do... join us! Contact our project partners at: Grow Water
Nursery Location: 2140 Chase Drive , Rancho Cordova , 95670 on the American River Parkway at Soil Born Farms' American River Ranch. From the intersection of Folsom Blvd and Coloma Drive, go north on Coloma. Turn left onto Chase Drive. Turn left into drive at 2140 Chase Dr. (last driveway on the left before entering Hagan Park).
When you drive in, follow driveway to the designated Parking Area (please park here unless you are picking up or delivering materials to the Nursery). Walk past the Farm Stand, then past the duplex. The Nursery is just beyond and behind the duplex. (The Nursery is on your left.)
BIKING DIRECTIONS from the American River Parkway bike path. Soil Born Farms is adjacent to the bike path between mile markers 15 and 15.5. Turn off the bike path into Hagan Park, and exit Hagan Park by the parking kiosk. Turn immediately into the driveway on the right and enter Soil Born Farms. Then bike/walk to the Nursery. BUS ROUTE BUS DIRECTIONS: The nearest Bus Line: 21 Coloma Rd & Dolecetto Dr (EB), then walk to 2130 Chase Drive.
2014 was a very good year! Nursery Directors Robin Rietz, Betsy Weiland and Chris Lewis want to thank these dedicated and dependable people who volunteered over 50 hours at the Nursery in 2014: ALEX MORTON, Alex Venegas, Becky Rivera, Carole Gates, Jim Wadsworth, John Schmidt, Mary Ann Robinson, Mary Schiedt, Mike Finan, Nadia Zane, Pat Gilbert, and Steve Woodward.
And thank you to all of our other valuable volunteers, without all of you we could never do the volume of work we do! Alan Kilgore, Amanda Vasquez, Anna Meier, Annie Kempees, Ashton Smith, Bill (from Camping World), Bobbi & Will King, Brenda Lewis, Carol Crofoot, Chris Lopez, Dan & Doria Keister, Dana Hendersen, Dave Andrews, Dean Mortensen, Diane Boul, Donna Preston, Donnela Wingfield, Elena Delacy, Eria Garnica, Gabbi, George Sannadan, Huab Xiong, Ivy Gallegos, Jacqueline Hamilton, Jami Rains, Joanne & Gil Schoefer, Joaquin Fioresi, Karina Lopez, Kathryn Olson, Kathy Henion, Kevin & Marvin & Lynne Gong, Joanne & Scott Carpenter, Karen, Lily, and Nathan Bearson, Lorena Dunham, Leticia Morris, Maria Mehboob, Mary Beth Metcalf, Nadia Peralta, Naivasha, Nancy Joye, Nicole Carpenter, Nyonnoweah Greene, Pavi (Pavithra Sundaravaradan), Rachel Freund, Rob Wilson, Robin Rogerson, Rodger Sargent, Tara Sheen, Terrance Foreman, Tina Lemmons, Tony Duke, Vicki Mongan, and Yvonne Ellis.
4005 Manzanita Ave. Suite 6 #405, Carmichael, CA 95608 (916) 668-0875
We are in a drought. We need to be smart about the water we use. One obvious source of water is our Grey Water. Please consider signing this LAUNDRY TO LANDSCAPE Petition. The petition asks our electeds to institue a rebate program to home owners and business owners who choose to water their gardens with washing machine water. Grow Water leaders Chris Lopez, Rodger Sargent, and Tara Sheen designed and installed a Water Harvesting Design for our Butterfly Waystation in Soil Born's Outdoor Classroom adjacent to the Nursery. Grow Water leaders generously shared their time and expertise with us.
NOTE: Friday Walks have moved to their own page on this website - under Events & Field Trips. Here is a link to Jim Wadsworth's Flickr Albums. Jim photographs most of our Friday Walks. (Jim's California Fuchsia)