Photo by Matt Degnan
Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. ... and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.
--John Muir, 1895
Culled from a selection of John Muir's quotes collected by Harold Wood for the Sierra Club.
are your friendly farmers.
I'm often asked how Tree Talk Natives came about, especially since neither Chuck nor I grew up farming. We were into journalism and fundraising. About 20 years ago my mother-in-law offered to buy Chuck and me a tree, and I had a vague idea that I wanted a native tree, but I had no idea where to even look.
Then I found a landscaper specializing in natives and, with her help, learned to research plants and build a few gardens around my townhouse.
Still, tossing around business ideas for a decade or more, I did not at first even consider farming. How could a small operation compete with the big companies?
Then the Buy Local movement gained momentum, and thus came about my "eureka moment" -- there was a whole community of small farmers out there just like us, and they were making it! We could, too!
The name alone was months in the making. I asked friends and family for suggestions, even launched a contest. I settled on names only to toss them out days later.
Then I discovered Richard Powers’ The Overstory and its fictionalized narrative of Susan Simard’s groundbreaking work on how trees “talk” with each other.
I wanted that concept in our nursery, but how?
Walking my dog one day I saw a Wizard of Oz face impressed on a giant oak tree and lightheartedly imagined the tree talking to me. More tossing words around, and out came Tree Talk Natives.
Our focus still is on trees, but we've added shrubs and a few flowers and grasses, and we're adding new products every season, learning and growing with our farm and our customers. :)
We'd love to hear from you!
11900 Hawkes Road
Clarksburg, MD 20871