On a spring Saturday, the fields and greenhouses at Helia opened to welcome guests. Nasturtiums were blooming in the warm, and plants outside were grouped by where they like to live — sun and shade, wet and dry … saplings, young bushes and wildflowers.
Horticulturalist Bridghe McCracken founded Helia three years ago, after the sale of Project Native, where she was chief landscape designer for 10 years. She founded Helia to continue her and Project Native’s mission to save Berkshire native plants and seeds, and propagate plants, to restore and expand the strained ecosystem in these hills.
Helia works with landscapers, and so it does not open daily as a shop, but they welcome visitors at events and open days. In April they have been taking pre-orders for vegetable and herb seedlings — and in spring and summer 2020 Helia will run two CSAs. One will set up a diverse planter in May and June, and the other will offer edible native plants in June and July.
They also create their own native seed mixes for meadow flowers, grasses and more, and offer them at local shops — you’ll find them at One Mercantile, Mass MoCA, Township Four and Tiny Hearts.