Focus: Butterfly Effect Farm

Cape Cod Life  /  September/October 2023 /

Writer: Cape Cod Life Publications

Emily Dutra’s unique approach to growing and gardening has a positive impact, locally and beyond.

When you drive onto Butterfly Effect Farm located in Westport, you’ll find a captivating departure from the ordinary garden store offerings of perennials and fauna. Rather, you become enveloped in a blissful world of native plants. Although Butterfly Effect Farm is only three months old, owner Emily Dutra has been servicing the Cape and its plant needs for 25 years. She began her career gardening and had a landscape design and maintenance company on Nantucket. As the call for a lifestyle shift grew stronger, Dutra embraced the mission of introducing more congenial plants to her native Westport and beyond.

“When I decided to move off of Nantucket Island to start my family with my then fiance, I knew it was time to put the busy design lifestyle behind me and focus on building something that would have an impact on the world around me, as well as raising my children to be part of that,” Dutra says.

The local and global significance of native plants transcends their visual appeal, extending into their profound ecological virtues. They are ecologically superior in every manner. Native plants can consume up to 80% less water than non-native plants, making upkeep significantly more environmentally friendly. They also attract native wildlife and pollinator populations, helping increase natural biodiversity and environmental health. 

Butterfly Effect Farm sells a large variety of plants yet sees the greatest demand for those that attract pollinators. Dutra explains that because her “product line is native, straight pollinator and keystone species, just about everything Butterfly Effect Farm carries attracts the wildlife people are craving!”

What sets the business apart from others is their staunch commitment to a customer-centric ethos, welcoming both seasoned horticulturists and novices equally. Each plant variety is labeled with its Latin and common name, and specific attributes. These include mature size, optimal soil conditions, bloom time, and more—all designed to facilitate an effortless transition into the world of native plants.

“I want native plants to be more accessible to all and offer my knowledge and organically grown plants to help in this movement,” Dutra succinctly states.


Cape Cod Life Publications