By Natalie Ortiz and Jessica Lesefka
“We started with one goal in mind, to help others find wellness using the gifts of nature,” said Nichole and James Brown of Nature’s Wellspring, an online organic plant and garden supply business based in Warrenton. The business is committed to helping the community find wellness in the form of nature, providing seeds and started plants to help residents of the surrounding area to have their own little slices of nature in their backyards. As a veteran, James Brown’s service has earned them the “Homegrown by Heroes” label for their business.
“As we all know in today’s world, we experience regular exposure to toxins, pesticides, radiation, and chemicals from daily product usage and even from our food sources. As a result, our society is facing an increase in inflammatory illnesses and allergic conditions which include a rise in food allergies and sensitivities. Unfortunately, our family has been personally affected by many of these, especially the development of life-threatening food allergies. Allergy foods are very expensive, thus we began growing more and more of our own produce. This incredible wellness journey led us to the creation of our company,” said the Browns.
The Browns are dedicated to helping their customers grow healthy food for themselves in their own gardens by providing allergy-friendly, nature-based products. They recommend the use of natural, non-GMO heirloom seeds, which they use to start their custom grown plants and herbs, and follow only organic, sustainable farming practices.
Nature’s Wellspring is a proponent of square foot gardening, which is the practice of creating small, orderly, and highly productive gardens by dividing the growing area into small sections, typically in 12” squares. Seeds or seedlings of each kind of vegetable are planted in one or more of the one-foot squares, at a density based on plant size. The square foot gardening method is estimated to cost 50 percent less, use 20 percent less space, use 10 percent less water, and require only 2 percent of the work compared to single row gardening. Additional benefits are that the density of the crops prevents weed growth, and no digging, tilling, or heavy tools are necessary.
Sound good? James is a certified square foot gardener instructor, and provides consulting and workshops, assisted by Nichole, a certified teacher, for those starting out. Specializing in soil preparation, they work with clients to plan their gardens and offer advice on implementation. They offer custom grown started plants for local delivery or pickup, which is a convenience for those who don’t want to start the seeds themselves. Nature’s Wellspring is dedicated to their customers and they love helping others succeed with their gardens. “Gardening is most successful when the gardener takes time to plan, has patience, and embraces experimentation. Enjoy the experience and learn from your mistakes as well as your successes,” the Browns recommend.
Nature’s Wellspring’s website also offers specialty products such as Cowpots (biodegradable, 100 percent renewable plant pots), homemade calcium powder, homegrown organic herbs, essential oils, EPF supplements, cut flowers, allergy friendly food, gardening supplies, and herbal infused salt rubs and bath salts. Locally grown produce is also available.
About the Authors
Jessica Lesefka is the Program Coordinator and Natalie Ortiz is the Chef for Fauquier Reaches for Excellence in School Health (FRESH), a grant-funded program to support and enhance a supportive culture of health and wellness for Fauquier students, staff, and the community. They are both Master Gardeners in the Fauquier County Chapter under Virginia Cooperative Extension.