Woods Ravine Farm is a new name for a very old farm. The property, located on County Route 33 at the edge of Norwich, New York, was a dairy farm for many years.  The original owners had a roadside farm stand as well. We're Darryl Wood and Toby Wollin and we bought the property in 2014. We've established a perennial and shrub nursery.

When is "hardy" not hardy?

Darryl and I have been gardening for almost 40 years and one thing we've learned is this: What is written about a plant/shrub/tree in the literature or printed on the tag at the nursery or 'big box store' is only half the story. For years, we struggled with plants, shrubs and fruit trees which 'on paper' were good choices for our property. The USDA hardiness zone maps always put us in Zone 5.

And yet, time and again, we'd lose things that were supposedly hardy for our Zone. Why?

Two reasons:

First, our property, from a topographic and geographic standpoint, was NOT a Zone 5. Parts of it were Zone 4, or Zone 3 or even Zone 2! Things grown at the front of our house, on the East side, were protected and survived much better than shrubs or plants grown on the West or even South sides. Protection means a lot!

Second and even more importantly, was WHERE those shrubs and trees were grown.

Sellers contract with growers all over the country: From Oregon and Washington State to Florida, Texas, Mississippi and throughout the South. Those folks have amazing conditions to grow in. Anywhere from Zone 6 to Zone 8, Maritime conditions on the West Coast to tropical conditions in Florida. Your plants and shrubs might be theoretically 'hardy to Zone 4', but the one you've just bought might not be anymore.

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Woods Ravine Farm

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It's only hardy to the zone it's been grown in! We take a very hard line on this; we always felt we'd been cheated when many things that we'd planted the year before and tended carefully and according to the literature were dead the next spring. We don't like having to replace plants, shrubs and trees and we know you don't either.

So, here's the deal: We test everything we grow and we buy from growers who are located either in the northern half of the United States or in eastern Canada. These are cold places - Zone 4 and colder. These are places where sudden changes in temperature happen with great frequency. These are places where minus 30 degrees F. is not unknown during the winter. These are places where, in the growing, the weaklings are weeded out.