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All Sweetfern plants are grown with organic soil and compost mixes. Sweetfern does not use any pesticides, herbicides, or any other chemicals on or near plants.

One of my goals in 2023 is to  source organic potting soil from a company that does not use peat in its mixture. Peat bogs are a dwindling natural resource that we must protect. Not only are they essential wildlife habitat, but peat bogs also capture and store CO2 emissions.

Plastic Pollution

Images like the one above are difficult to look at, but we must face the problem and create common sense solutions. Plastic pollution impacts every living creature, from phytoplankton, fish, birds, and the largest mammals on earth. 

Plastic is not biodegradable, it can only break down into smaller pieces called microplastics. In the environment, microplastics bond with hazardous chemicals and end up in our food (including fish), water, and the air we breathe.


A recent study found that due to the amount of plastic pollution, everyone consumes microplastics equal to the size of a credit card every day.

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Committed to Reducing Plastic Pollution

The horticulture industry relies on plastic containers and produces a tremendous amount of plastic pollution. Though some plastic containers are recyclable, most end up in landfills. Manufacturers place the burden of waste disposal and recycling on consumers. But I believe that businesses have an ethical obligation to eliminate plastic waste whenever possible.


Sweetfern plants are grown from seed in recycled and recyclable plastic containers. However, no customer will go home with a plastic pot. Once  purchased, all plants will be placed in a recycled, compostable, and biodegradable pot.

Committed to Sustainable Methods 

The brand of greenhouse I chose is Riga which offers the thickest polycarbonate greenhouse panels available. Thicker walls allow for more heat retention, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

I chose not to purchase a larger "hoop house" because polyethylene sheeting needs to be replaced every few years and is not recyclable. Polycarbonate panels are recyclable.


The windows of the greenhouse function without electricity. Oil inside a piston attached to each window expands as temperatures rise, which pushes then vents open automatically. When temperatures drop, the oil contracts and the vents close.


Though my greenhouse is smaller than most plant nurseries, I am currently able to grow 1,400 seedlings  (2" x 5" size).


Asian Jumping Worms

The Asian Jumping Worm (AJW) is an invasive species that can be devastating to forests and landscapes. Plant nurseries and community plant swaps are common places where the AJW is spread unknowingly. Purchasing soil and compost in bulk also contributes to this problem. Landscapers can carry AJW eggs on their boots and equipment from one property to another.


I take several precautions to prevent the spread of the Asian Jumping Worm (AJW). I purchase organic potting soil and seed starter mix from Morrison's Home and Garden in Plymouth - they are aware of the AJW problem and keep their soil bags up on pallets in their paved warehouse.

Although I have not seen any AJW's on my property this season, it does not mean they are not present. I found AJW's in a raised bed last summer, in soil I purchased from a garden center that kept their bags on the ground. Therefore, I take careful measures to prevent the possibility of spreading this worm. I keep all soil bags, pots, seedlings, and plants as high up off the ground as possible. 


Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns!


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