How Sustainable Are We?

The Best Management Practices Windy Meadow Nursery and The Center for Holistic Advanced Organic Studies Ltd. have implemented to be good Horticultural Stewards.

  1. In 1989 we planted 1,200 feet of wind break utilizing ten species of trees and shrubs to increase the farm’s ecological biodiversity, act as a riparian buffer to the Nooksack River, and provide natural habitat for wildlife.
  2. Since 1999, our Intrepid Coco-CoirÒ Premium Potting Soil has been registered by the Washington State Department of Agriculture for use in organic crop production. It was the United States first certified organic nutrient rich premium potting soil using easy to water Coconut Coir pith and Multiple Strains Working for a health centered approach to biological disease control. Renewable natural resources are our first priority. We preserve fragile wetland wildlife habitats by not using peat moss or energy intensive mined and unsightly fillers like pumice and perlite.
  3. We grow plants in ways that benefit the community and the environment. In 1989 we developed a systematic approach to natural disease suppression. Multiple Strains Working utilizes microbial biosynthesis of plant growth promoting products to create natural disease suppression. This heath-centered integrated pest management strategy has eliminated the need for chemical fungicides for over two decades.
  1. Coconut coir promotes healthy root systems by naturally suppressing plant pathogens. Coming from the tropics it does not harbor or support the growth cold loving plant diseases. This natural disease suppression reduces our carbon footprint by eliminating the need for energy intensive soil sterilization of Peat moss. Peat moss coevolved with algae and water molds and is a perfect incubation substrate for a long list of opportunistic plant diseases that emerge when environmental factors put stress on plants.
  2. We use an integrated fertility management system, the Water Insoluble Nutrition Advantage (WIN Advantage). By utilizing specially prepared organic fertilizers like Bone meal. No phosphoric acid is used in the liquid feed program, reducing runoff and leaching losses to zero, and prevents nutrients from contaminating valuable aquifers.
  3.  A new division, Windy Meadow Produce was created to improve year round labor and facility utilization and extend brand promotion by providing Whatcom County residents with high quality sustainably grown greenhouse vegetables.
  4. We promote sustainability by publishing our fundamental research findings that will encourage a trend toward innovative and promising new techniques for managing greenhouses and the production of high quality, sustainable nursery crops.
  5. We apply elicitors that induce Systemic Acquired Resistance, the plants natural defense mechanism. Multiple sources of stimuli are utilized to activate chromosomes in plant DNA. Induced crops tolerate stress and disease pressure resulting in healthy vigorous plants.
  6. Integrated Pest Management is the basis for pest control, preservation of beneficial insect populations is considered when choosing control strategies.
  7. We manufacture and sell Intrepid Coco-CoirÒ potting soil and Intrepid Blue Ribbon natural fertilizer to home gardeners and professional horticulturists. They are ecologically friendly, simple to use and highly effective at producing the best results for healthy, productive and beautiful gardens. INTREPID products have become valuable tools for so many people to enjoy a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.
  8. We apply cultural practices to effect growth regulating height control and limit chemical plant growth regulators that stunt and arrest plant development. Proper nutrition and cool cultural practices encourages plants to grow strong and to their full genetic potential.
  9. We produce plants that increase in value over time by adding to home values, and reduce the gardener’s grocery bill of commercially grown and transported vegetables. We select naturally superior plant varieties that have outstanding performance in Northwest gardens.
  10. We conserve water by hand watering and not using sprinklers. In propagation, humidity domes save water and reduces fungal pathogens instead of wasteful intermittent mist. 
  11. Intrepid Coco-Coir® thoroughly re-wets very easily when dry without the aid of chemical wetting agents. Plants stay moist for a longer period of time with less water applied.
  12. We convey plant material on an overhead trolley system allowing a single person to move forty two flats anywhere in the nursery utilizing 1,700 linear feet of track, all with the effort of two fingers. No tractors or motorized vehicles are used in the nursery.
  13. No impervious paving. Sixty percent of the nursery and all driving surfaces in the nursery are left natural or consist of Eco-turf, which serves to protect the diversity of flora and fauna while moderating temperatures and humidity within the nursery.
  14. We maintain an older fleet of delivery vehicles rather than purchase new. We limit our area of delivery by supporting local business and eliminate the need to ship plants in boxes.
  15. We do not over-produce, but gain market share in the area we can deliver to efficiently.
  16. We live within our means, and finance expansion with earnings rather than by borrowing.
  17. We have a recycle program to reduce the waste stream of cardboard, paper, mixed plastic and plastic nursery pots as well as glass, scrap metal, aluminum and used motor oil.
  18. We proactively collect and recycle flats and carry trays from our retail customers that are discarded by other wholesale greenhouses.
  19. We compost green and wood waste on site for incorporating into the nursery beds and provide an additional income stream.
  20. Worker safety is insured with proper training and a clean ergonomic work environment.
  21. Workers receive training to be productive and are paid a fair wage for the work performed.
  22. We use locally sourced products from the Re-Store as a first choice for building materials and low volatile organic compound paints.
  23. We purchase nursery containers and labels derived from 50% post-consumer recycled plastic and recycled newspaper.
  24. We communicate our values to our customers and professionals in the green industry to the virtues of sustainable growing practices through lectures and on the web to accelerate organic sustainability
  25. We purchase used computers and recycled printer paper. We bill direct, and arrange for dated payments to be made when we deliver, rather than through the mail.
  26. Early detection of young insect populations through regular scouting practices facilitates ease of control with the least toxic remedy.
  27. Reduce our carbon footprint with 90% plus efficient unit heaters and use the most efficient split night temperature strategy for best management practices.
  28. Use of natural ventilation eliminates costly electrical fans and reduces peak energy demand.
  29. We use low wattage, high efficiency area lighting products on automatic switches.
  30. We have invested in high efficiency LED grow lights in propagation allowing tiered growing under benches thereby increasing our space utilization.
  31. We insulate and maintain structural integrity of the greenhouses to reduce our carbon footprint.
  32. We perform litter control in the neighborhood several times a year.