I started Maggie’s Herbs and Heirlooms in 1999 after choosing to retire from a career in Information Technology.
After several years of getting poor results when starting plants in the basement, we decided to build a greenhouse.
With a lot of help from friends and family, we put it up on our one acre in lot in the town of Waukesha.
When the property surrounding us was sold for development, we decided to sell our home and move to the country.
We found our dream “hobby farm” in rural Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
Basically, I am a one person business – with occasional and critical help from husband, Jim.
I try to grow everything I offer in my own gardens, at least once.
Selections are generally made from my own curiosity or experience, but I encourage my customers to make suggestions too.
I grow and save seeds for a few varieties, but have found this is not my strength,
so, I rely on several of the wonderful seed companies that have popped up over the years.
Seed and Plant Sources
Seed Savers Exchange
Located in northern Iowa
Their mission is preserving heirloom varieties from all over the world
They are certified organic and my primary source for seeds.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Fabulous selection of very exciting and unusual varieties
High Mowing Organic Seed
Vermont based, very dedicated to Organics, and increasing their seed selection every year.
Maryland based supplier of Certified Organic herb “plugs”.
The Rest of the Story
- I try new potting mixes and fertilizers all of the time, but they must be made of OMRI listed ingredients. I have recently settled on Fox Farm Ocean Forest.
- The plastic pots that I use are made of 100% recycled material
- Someday, some very ingenious person will develop pots that are affordable and reusable/recyclable (I will stand in line to get those)
- Neem and insecticidal soap are used as pesticide only when needed
- My philosophy is that a healthy plant can survive most insect and disease problems, so I focus on healthy plants
- A word about the term Heirloom. There are many interpretations of this word as it applies to plants. For my purposes, I select varieties that have been around a long time and/or are open-pollinated. They must also do well in our southern Wisconsin climate.