ORONO, Maine – A new native plants nursery business has grown at Bas Rouge Farm & Forge in Orono. Selling hand tended, sustainably grown and harvested Maine and Eastern U.S. native plants at offsite markets, including at the Orono Farmers Market beginning on Saturday, May 28.

Why choose native plants? Native plants are hardy perennials which thrive under the weather, soil and general growing conditions found within the immediate environment of our gardens and farms. These plants are an important food source for native bumblebees, smaller native bees, birds and other insects and fauna. Native plants have great ethnobotanical significance and uses and deserve their place in our Maine landscapes.

The farm and native plants nursery are a passion for Ivonne Vazquez, a self-proclaimed “wild gardener” for whom the greatest enjoyment of letting the lawn grow wild is in watching the abundance of wildlife that visit overgrown gardens.

Vazquez is a Master Gardener, Registered Maine Guide/Recreation, hobby naturalist, and blacksmith. In addition to tending and documenting native plants on the farm, Vazquez teaches basic gardening at Bangor Adult Community Education, writes gardening articles, speaks at local gardening groups, and learns something new each day from life attracted to the wide variety of native plants.

Bas Rouge Farm & Forge offers other services offsite including Guided Nature Walks, Plant Identification & Recovery and Gardening Classes for individuals and groups.

For more information visit their website basrougefarm.com, on Instagram @basrougefarmforge or stop by and say hello at the Orono Farmers Market booth this summer.