Published on July 18, 2014
Restoration & Contract Growing for Supplemental Income: Restoration & Contract Growing for Supplemental Income Heather Wehnau-Federlein Plant Propagtion Manager Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Our Mission & Vision at SBBG: Our Mission & Vision at SBBG Mission Statement The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden fosters the conservation of California's native plants through our gardens, education, and research, and serves as a role model of sustainable practices. Vision Statement The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden envisions a world where society understands the interdependency between people and plants, and acts to preserve the natural world. What is Restoration? Why is it important?: What is Restoration? Why is it important? Environmental remediation – action to improve the environment or prevent further degradation, generally based on assessment of health and ecological risks, or subject to regulatory requirements Restoration ecology – the return of a landscape, ecosystem, or other ecological entity to a predefined historical state; the practice of renewing and restoring degraded, damaged or destroyed ecosystems and habitats in the environment by active human intervention or action Regulations typically require site or watershed sourced plants to maintain the genetic diversity and adaptations from a specific site or region. Problems our nursery was facing:: Problems our nursery was facing: Lack of funding due to recession resulting in staff cutbacks O utdated nursery and extensive damage from 2009 Jesusita fire Difficulty funding ‘back of house’ operations Finding funding that fit within our mission and paid for staff time and supplies Possible Solutions: Possible Solutions Find a salable product or niche market to help fund our staff and department Restoration, conservation, and special projects Expand and market things we already do Find a project that will make enough to fund staff time and supplies while only taking 1/3 or less of our time during the project year Find projects that have extra benefits besides financial What are you capable of?: What are you capable of? What size project can you take on? Balance your priorities? Analyze your nursery capacity, facilities Leave room for flexibility Benefits What staffing and labor resources are available Deciding on a project: Deciding on a project Don’t put so much on your plate than you can’t follow through Make friends with others in your field Know your boundaries Head for your goals and get ahead whenever you have the chance Ask for actual timeline of project, you may have longer than a year or season Go with your intuition Become an expert: Become an expert Find a niche your company can serve Rare plants or specialty plants Team up with other departments in your institution and know what services you can offer under the same roof You can charge more for specialized services * The fine print: * The fine print A proper and consistent contract is essential! Get a deposit! Set a timeline and stick to it Use the contract to solve or help with possible issues Build partnerships through keeping promises and holding to your standards Get the proper permits Make Magic: Make Magic Get as much detail as you Be prepared to spend extra time with new clients Open your nursery Provide regular updates, even if not required & Keep an open dialogue Maintain proper ethics & tread lightly Make the most of the early part of the project Allow yourself enough time to recollect if possible What have we been working on?: What have we been working on? Year 1 : 20,000 plants in liners for a mitigation at Chatsworth Reservoir north of Los Angeles Year 2 : A project of about 400 plants for another local grower Several small mitigation projects growing rare plants Special orders for various nurseries and projects Year 3 : Another round of 20,000 plants for the Chatsworth mitigation 300 plants for a mitigation on Oil company land (leading to 400+ more in 2015) Year 4 : 300 plants for another local grower 20,000+ plants for our Meadow revival, new landscaping and other on-site projects and mitigation through 2015 Growing federally listed Lompoc Yerba Santa for planting on Govt. land Adding it all up….the grand finale!: Adding it all up….the grand finale! Total income about $90,000 to $100,000 over 4 years What did this cover? Soil, pots, fertilizer and other misc supplies Part time assistant or funding to keep on skilled interns Some minor equipment and nursery upgrades Travel and time for collecting trips Surplus went towards Horticulture staff salaries in our budget Some trades with wholesalers for other plants What a 20,000 plant contract looks like: What a 20,000 plant contract looks like PowerPoint Presentation: Other Benefits of contract and mitigation growing Going to normally un-accessible places Hiring your favorite volunteer as a part time assistant: Hiring your favorite volunteer as a part time assistant Having extra plants to sell in our retail nursery: Having extra plants to sell in our retail nursery Acquiring and seeing plants we would not otherwise have access to: Acquiring and seeing plants we would not otherwise have access to Fun Mimulus hybrids in many colors Quercus x grandidentata Agrostis hooveri Eriodictyon capitatum Don’t forget your facilities!: Don’t forget your facilities! Last major Nursery renovation in 1974 : Last major Nursery renovation in 1974 So we look towards the future!: So we look towards the future!