Native Plant Trust

Our Nursery

Nasami Farm

We grow and sell New England native plants

Nasami Farm's Garden Shop is open on Saturdays and Sundays only, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For questions about plants, please find plant lists, FAQs, and preorder instructions herePlease note: We are behind in responding to your emailed plant order requests. As both Garden Shop locations are open, we encourage you to simply come and shop. In many cases it may be faster than requesting a quote.

Set on 75 acres in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts, Nasami Farm grows New England native plants from seed that we harvest sustainably from healthy, well-established wild populations throughout the region. Our goal is ensuring genetic diversity to offset the clones sold by traditional nurseries and to build resilience into a landscape facing change. We feed our plants with organic fertilizer and use biological controls rather than chemicals as our first line of defense against pests. We use no systemic pesticides, such as neonicotinoids. We focus on propagation and research to bring different and hard-to-grow native plants into production. In addition to propagating plants for our two Garden Shops, we also work with the Conservation staff and contract with other organizations to cultivate plants for the restoration of wild habitats. And, in our classroom at Nasami Farm, we also offer year-round classes in native plant horticulture and botany.

For home gardeners and professionals, the Nasami Farm Garden Shop offers an extraordinary variety of native plants during the growing season, and we are significantly expanding our seed collection and our list of species. Download the current plant list with prices on our Buy Native Plants page. The list applies to our Garden Shops at both Nasami Farm and Garden in the Woods

We are located at 128 North Street, Whately, MA 01373. Please be aware that the exits on I-90 (MassPike) and I-91 are renumbered. The exit on I-90 for I-91, formerly #4, is now #45. The exit on I-91 for Conway/Rt. 116, which takes you to Nasami Farm, was formerly #24 (northbound) and is now #35. If driving southbound on I-91, the same exit was #25 and is now #36. Map programs may not yet provide the new exit numbers.

The classroom and the seasonal Garden Shop are the only parts of Nasami Farm open to the public. 

Why We Grow Native Plants from Seed

Nursery Manager Alexis Doshas explains.

When nurseries propagate plants through cuttings, cloning, or using seed collected from a small or cultivated population, they winnow out genetic diversity, rendering all the individual plants in the group susceptible to the same pests and diseases. That means that all plants of the same species that live in a particular geographic area can be wiped out by a single pest, as happened, for example, when one microorganism decimated Ireland's potato crop in the mid-19th century, causing a famine that claimed about a million lives.

In some cases we need to propagate plants through cuttings or another vegetative method, usually when a species is difficult to grow from seed or does not produce much, if any, viable seed. Also, native plant cultivars—varieties that have been bred for certain characteristics, such as resistance to disease, size, and ornamental traits—have their place in our landscapes, in moderation. 

Take, for example, double blood-root (Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Multiplex’). A natural mutation in the wild created a plant with additional flower petals. Unlike the straight species, double blood-root is sterile—that is, it does not produce seed—because the mutation transformed its reproductive parts into petals. While we continue to collect wild seed of blood-root and grow it from seed, that is not an option for double blood-root and similar sterile plants. So, we may divide the plants, take cuttings, or purchase them from our partner nurseries that have propagated them from cuttings. 

But these are exceptions. We primarily focus on growing native plants from seed collected in the wild by a team of trained staff and volunteers who research and document local sources of healthy, wild populations. At the right time, we head into the field to collect seed, careful to leave plenty of intact specimens to enable the population to continue to thrive. This widespread sampling in the wild ensures that the native plants we grow in our greenhouses represent the region's robust genetic diversity.

Fertile Ground for Research

We experiment with chemical-free pest control, nutritious soil mixes, and propagation techniques for challenging plants

For example, in one ongoing experiment, we're trying to learn how to get the seeds of bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), a low-growing evergreen shrub, to germinate faster. Bearberry is a popular nursery plant because it thrives in poor, dry soils and is a favorite alternative to turf grass, especially on slopes. Birds and other animals feast on its red fruit. But it is nearly impossible to find genetically diverse, seed-grown specimens in commercial nurseries because of the plant's hard-coated seed, which can stay dormant for years. To keep up with demand, most nurseries produce clones with cuttings from one or two parent plants, contributing to a lack of biodiversity in the landscape. 

What if nurseries could grow bearberry faster, without resorting to genetic modification? The first step in solving the puzzle is to find out why the plant's tough-coated seeds germinate when they do. Is it an environmental stimulus, for instance? We are collaborating with staff at a local community college to discover what triggers Arctostaphylos seed to germinate, treating the seeds with smoke, heat, chemical baths, and combinations thereof. Our findings could lead to more nurseries growing bearberry from seed—and bolstering the species’ genetic diversity in the wild.

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Garden Shop 2022 Hours

Hours through early October

Saturdays and Sundays
10 a.m.–5 p.m.

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Contract Growing

We grow plugs on contract for the nursery trade, habitat restoration, and large design projects. Read about one of our contract-growing projects in the green box on left. Please email Alexis Doshas early in your planning.

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Nasami's Garden Shop Needs a Seasonal Sales Coordinator

Responsibilities include selling and caring for plants, answering customer inquiries, receiving plant shipments, managing plant orders, and providing excellent customer service. The position offers the opportunity to learn about native plant propagation, participate in educational classes, and gain practical gardening experience. Click here to learn more.

Volunteers needed

Volunteering at Nasami Farm

Nasami Farm staff members rely on the generous help of volunteers. To apply to become a volunteer, please fill out this form. Questions? Email Nursery Coordinator (Karen) Miho Connolly: kconnolly@NativePlantTrust.org.

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We Run on Sun

Solar panels on Nasami's main building make this LEED Gold site even greener, thanks to generous supporters. One month's carbon offset: 1.66 tons, or 43 trees.