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Forrest Keeling is a locally-owned family business that contributes to our local economies and actively participates in conservation practices.

Forrest Keeling is a locally-owned family business that contributes to our local economies and actively participates in conservation practices.

Sustainability and Forrest Keeling

Midwestern common sense and ingenuity made Forrest Keeling an innovator in sustainability long before it became an industry trend.

We are constantly seeking improved methods to reduce our company's negative impact on the environment while increasing demand for native plants and their effective application--a sustainable practice in itself.

Our nursery production has shifted to primarily native species. These low-maintenance native plants require less of EVERYTHING both for production and the plant's long-term support, including water, fertilization, herbicides or pesticides.

Seed orchards of native selections have been established on our grounds. These selections are made from various eco-zones for improved viability and to allow us to meet a wide variety of customer demands for local seed sources. All seed is collected and processed locally.

Water is our most precious resource and effective water stewardship is our biggest challenge. We recapture all of the water used at Forrest Keeling. Our production irrigation water and have constructed wetlands to filter chemicals and are continually upgrading to drip irrigation. In Spring 2009, we installed a two-step bioswale, or large rain garden, to capture the runoff of our retail/rewholesale lots.

Recycling and reduced paper use is another area of emphasis. More than 90% of our growing media is composed of by-products that would normally end up in a landfill. We encourage contractors to return containers to us for reuse or recycling. And, we accept yard waste such as brush and tree limbs from the surrounding communities that we chip and grind for field mulch on site.

In 2009 we added the electronic option for our wholesale and seedling catalogs. This allowed us to print 50% fewer catalogs! And, most of our printing is done by an FSC certified printer on FSC-recycled post consumer paper. Our website's format with real-time availability and on-demand forms also helps us reduce our need for more catalogs or seasonal mailings.

For Forrest Keeling, sustainability is the right way to do business.  Being "green" isn't a new trend, it's the way we've grown for over 60 years.