Nature's Touch Nursery & Harvest was started in August of 2001. It was started on a whim. Before I opened, I had my wholesale plant nursery in production and was working for Windrose Farm selling plants and organic produce at our local farmers market. I was also filling in for other farmers at market. From Peter Bigsby (Hydroponic produce),to Judy Schuke (Pear tree Farms and Gardens). Before starting my wholesale plant nursery in 1998, I was the Store & Nursery manager at Sycamore Herb Farm in Paso Robles. Through all my employment I used my experiences and courses I was taking to educate myself on sustaining a lifestyle I could create with my own means.
The whim was because I had learned the importance of supporting and eating local foods. But was finding it hard to do so at our local farmer’s market. With large scale corporate farms running the little hard working farms out of market. I was finding it hard to feed my family they way I had learned to. At this time sales started to decrease for my wholesale plant nursery. So I started calling around to my customers and asked what I could do to gain the sales back and everyone had told me that all though your plants are of good quality we cannot sell the produce that your plants produce due to the lack of shelf life and people not knowing what our veggies or herbs are or not knowing how important is to plant natives into your landscape. So with this in my thoughts I was out looking to see how I can possibly start a business to educate and to help keep my local growers, growing and to help my community understand and have the accessibility to good local plants and food.
Through this process Nature’s Touch besides keeping a majority of the farmers who I have set out to help in business. We have also helped start Gold Coast Meats and local meat chicken, and egg producer. Red Branch Nursery, which was the wholesale part of Nature’s Touch. Due to the store growing in popularity and the birth of my two children (Cody 5 & Savanah 2) I was finding it hard to keep up with the growing part of the nursery and I handed it over to my brother and sister-in-law ( J.R.& Teresa) to own and operate under the consult of Nature’s Touch.
– Melanie Blankenship