By Susan Elise Campbell
She didn’t realize it at the time, but when Jesse Peters was invited to bid on a local airport habitat restoration project, her sustainable landscape business, Jessecology, would soon take off in a new direction.
Jessecology grows and sells thousands of native plants annually to civil engineers and construction companies for projects like roadside, highway median, post-construction and municipal landscaping.
“I didn’t win the bid on the plant piece of the project, but it was illuminating to me how great a need there is for propagating seeds of native plants for projects like these,” said Peters, an ecologist now in her 16th year of business.
Peters has been growing plants from seed for 10 years for wholesale use and do-it-yourself gardeners. But she said harvesting seeds for resale “was basically a hobby until that project for 90 acres shed light on the need.”
Any surplus she had in the past she typically donated to organic farms in the area to sow native plants around the fields.
“The wildflowers help bring in more pollinators to the farms and improve their crops,” she said.