This past fall marked the 10th anniversary of the Native Seed Farm and Irvine Ranch Conservancy is excited to celebrate the significant growth and impact the Farm has had in restoring the Landmarks, as well as educating the community.
While developing the Farm, Irvine Ranch Conservancy had two simple goals: provide a reliable source of quality plant material for restoration projects and create a place for the public to learn about local wildlands and contribute to restoration efforts.
During the fall of 2009, the first Farm facility was launched, utilizing a temporary location on a 12-acre burned-out avocado orchard that was previously damaged by the 2007 Santiago Canyon Fire. In 2016, the Farm transitioned to its current site located in Irvine, featuring two shade-houses, a seed processing facility, two cold storage bins for seed, a dedicated seed drying area, an onsite office and a shaded staging area. The Farm currently produces approximately 1,000 pounds of seed every year, while also growing and nurturing over 50 plant species.
The Native Seed Farm’s growth would not be possible without the Conservancy's partnership with OC Parks, the City of Irvine, and the City of Newport Beach as well as the consistent efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers that assist with the different work across the Farm.
As the Native Seed Farm continues to grow, Irvine Ranch Conservancy aims to enhance their self-contained, one-stop shop with equipment and infrastructure to harvest and clean seeds. Reflecting on the past ten years, the Native Seed Farm has truly been a necessary and successful resource used to support restoration efforts across the Landmarks.
“We hope the Native Seed Farm can serve as a model for other organizations looking to create a native seed farm to support their own restoration efforts,” said O’Connell. “We are so pleased with how far the Native Seed Farm has come and can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring!”
For more information about Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Native Seed Farm and volunteering opportunities, visit LetsGoOutside.org.