but·ter·fly ef·fect


  1. (in chaos theory) the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

Our Story

We are a native plant nursery that grows and sells plants that serve an ecological purpose and have positive effects on the environment.  Our  focus is on native, seed grown, keystone and pollinator plants that serve as habitats, host plants, food, nesting material and nectar and pollinator sources for insects and wildlife. Every plant we grow and sell provides multiple ecological functions in our environment.  We are here to help make native plants more accessible and attainable, and hopefully continue to teach and learn along the way. We never use any neonicotinoids or dangerous synthetic chemicals, pesticides or herbicides. Everything we plant is grown in beuatiful organic soil. 

Our Farm

We invite you to come and enjoy our beautiful farm during our open hours, Wednsday to Saturdays 10 a.m.to 3 p.m.. Directions are on our contact page.  Butterfly Effect Farm is situated just minutes from the ocean, on a large piece of historic land, which is also our home, so please be mindful. We’ve expanded on what was already here and created a solar structure to provide not just clean energy, but shade for our native plants. There is a greenhouse to extend our growing season and provide us with a cozy work space, safe from the elements. We will also have a place for you to check out in style! This is our first season, and we still have a lot of work left to do, but we hope the magic will find you, and you’ll pardon our rough edges.  


Our Philosophy

It is at the core of our mission to help individuals and businesses learn how to reuce and chemical and pesticide use, combat invasives, sequester carbon, create and re-envision gardens, lawns and meadows, assist with erosion control, rebuild habitats, redirect runoff,  create biodiverse small and large spaces, sustainably feed their families and reduce water usage through planting native species.  


Why are we selling native plants?

With growing research and awareness, it is becoming clear to scientists and many Americans at large, that we need to start recreating native wildlife habitats in our own gardens. We need to rebuild these habitats before the habitat loss cannot be undone. 

Native pollinator plants are gaining and popularity and with that, so is demand. This is great for the environment, but there is a lack of native plant availability being met for the demand.  We at Butterfly Effect Farm will strive to fill this need for New England landscapers, gardeners and homeowners.

With our nursery, we are setting out to outfit people and businesses with the native plants that will help with wildlife restoration, creating small and large biodiverse habitats, replacing lawns, or simply to start adding to this movement with a few gorgeous and invaluable natives. We are at a vital point where every native plant that replaces what may have been an introduced species before, counts.  Every time a native species is planted, a few more moths, and butterflies, and bees, and birds, and so much wildlife is positively effected. It sets in motion a butterfly effect.  

Every plant we grow and sell provides multiple ecological functions in our environment. This is something that imported plants cannot attain, because they have not evolved with nature locally. Every living thing that has evolved together from the topsoil to the clouds is networking together to create a diverse ecosystem that supports them and us.



Our Farm Through the Seasons

Emily using achiote(annato) seed as a natural sunblock while visiting a farm in Puerto Rico during the early winter of 2023.

Emily Dutra

Founder/Owner of ButterFly Effect Farm and Dutra Designs

Emily is the founder of Butterfly Effect Farm and owned and operated Dutra Designs, a  successful organic native and pollinator design, installation, and maintenance company on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. For over 20 years she developed a reputation for sustainability and environmentally sound practices in the Nantucket gardening trade. Never being persuaded by wealth, status, or mainstream thinking, she was regarded as a pioneer in her community. She has been in the industry for 25 years. In that time she built and operated two greenhouses, growing primarily for her clients, occasionally selling to local nurseries. 

She has always been a loud advocate for the environment (even when this was an unpopular stance in an industry run on chemicals, monocultures, and pollution), specializing in organics, pollinators, meadows, and native landscapes. She persuaded many traditional clients to move toward gardens and landscapes that were more beneficial to the environment. 

Although Emily spent her adult career designing and gardening on Nantucket, she is a native of Westport, Massachusetts. Some may remember her as small child, with her four siblings, running around the Head of Westport, often naked, helping her parents homestead in the middle of the 80’s. 

Emily is a Northeast Organic Farming Association, Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (NOFA AOLCP),  and has been since 2008. She also has her Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), that she received in the jungle of Costa Rica with the late Scott Pittman and the Permaculture Institute in 2015. Emily has spent countless hours of her life training, learning and  maximizing her continuing education, getting hands on experience and troubleshooting multiple organic gardening and management challenges over decades in this field.

Emily became a mother and wife in 2019, and a mother again in 2020. This dream has always been lingering beneath the surface, but she now has the added responsibility to help make this earth a healthier and safer place for her family and yours. 

“The time is now. We no longer have the luxury of waiting a few more years or for someone else to make this happen, the future is calling, and it needs it’s earth back”. -Emily on starting Butterfly Effect Farm