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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store unused seeds for next year?

Native seed will store best if kept at stable temps and humidity. Dark is better. Dry is a must. We have a "seed bank" here which is kept approx 60-70*F and 55% RH. The seed bank has no windows and very thick insulation. Worst thing is heat that exceeds 110* F or so. If I had a dark cool closet in a garage or barn...I would stow it away for the winter. If mice are potential threat...I would put the bags in garbage cans with lids...or totes with lids. Don't wait too late next year to put it out to take advantage of every rain that comes along in the growing season.

What is a D-Pak?

You said, "Give me more than a packet but less than a pound". We said "d-pak". The D is for diversity which is the goal!

What's the difference between a "restoration" and what's commonly called "landscaping"?

"Landscaping" conjures up images of man-made and human controlled. A look at any traditional "landscape" in Texas nearly always contains imported exotic elements such as Chinese Holly, Asian Jasmine, India Hawthorn and big expanses of African Bermuda grass or Caribbean St. Augustine Grass. Throw in a couple of Pakistani Crepe Myrtles and Afghanistan Pines, stir in an all-American sprinkler system, and a bi-monthly visit from a chemical industrial giant and there you have it!
Environmental restoration, on the other hand, takes a look at the logic inside an ecosystem. It is an attempt to save pieces of what may have been vibrantly operating in the harmony of life long before we showed up with our ideas of having dominion over all living things, and our disregard for the inherent wisdom of nature in maintaining a balance. Restorationists consider sharing spaces within landscapes by providing habitat for other forms of life, like butterflies, hummingbirds, salamanders, harvester ants, horned lizards, painted buntings, and Vermillion flycatchers. Of course, you've got to put up with having a few flies for them to catch!
Ultimately, ecological restoration is more like maintaining an identity that is directly connected to the sense of place. Places like prairies, woodlands, wetlands, savannas, and deserts.

How long does a restoration take?

There are five basic ingredients that go into environmental restoration, which in combination are really the answer to this question.
1. Development of a long-term land management plan based on a reading of the land.
2. Water. Which can also be defined as weather. A coastal prairie restoration in western Louisiana can make great strides in two years with 70 inches of annual rainfall. But it's a whole other planet in West Texas with a 7-inch annual rainfall (unless your oil well has a switch to pump clean water!)
3. Time. It took us about 120-150 years to graze and plow out the heartlands of North America, so we have to acknowledge the fact that it takes some time to undo it. Also, the amount of items (b) and (d) directly influence item (c).
4. Money. How much is determined by a combination of factors including how much land there is, whether you want to parcel out the project and phase in the work over time, the amount and quality of existing vegetation on the site, etc. Because of a whole slew of misguided land management practices, and a 150-year history of failing to appreciate the real consequences of extracting resources without replenishing them, our debt to the soil bank is not measured in pennies. But for sure the most money-saving thing you can do is to develop a sound plan at the beginning that allows you to take the very best advantage of opportunities that exist on your site, and determine how you want to go about restoring it over the long term.
5. Education. Every restoration project has an educational component. And the more you can learn - from the hard facts to developing the more subtle "knack" of learning reading your land and understand what's happening to it as you give nature the opportunity to begin to heal itself - the more successful and rewarding your restoration will be.

Does the size of my land allow me to consider using your services?

Any size of land that can be restored to native vegetation is a great and lasting gift to the future. But if you are considering restorations upwards of a few acres, Neiman Environments provides valuable, money saving guidance. Over the years we have been involved in the planning and/or execution of restoration projects including:

1. long-term land management on corporate land banks
2. recent or potential land acquisitions
3. city parks, open spaces, green belts, landfills
4. riparian and stream bank restorations
5. golf course roughs and out-of-play areas
6. outdoor educational sites and nature centers
7. wildlife refuges and state parks
8. land retired from agricultural and ranching uses
9. hiking and biking trails
10. flood control projects
11. community beautification projects
12. transportation projects including highway and railroad right-of-way plantings
13. ranchlands engaged in eco-tourism, recreation, hunting and sustainable grazing
14. lands converting from agriculture tax status to wildlife conservation status

Please feel free to call or email us with any preliminary questions you might have about whether the consulting and restoration services of Neiman Environments are right for you. We are also available for consultations prior to a major land purchase.