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Adam Turtle

Adam Turtle
June 29, 1941 to October 5, 2023

Adam Turtle passed away on October 5, 2023 after a long illness. He and his wife Susanne Turtle were co-owners of Our Bamboo Nursery, a wholesale Bamboo nursery specializing in landscape grade stabilized B&B bamboo with over 300 temperate species and forms available. They also served as co-directors of Earth Advocates Research Farm near Summertown, TN since 1991 and published the illustrated international journal Temperate Bamboo Quarterly. He was actively involved in the nursery industry in Tennessee being a member of the Middle Tennessee Nursery Association (and serving on the Board) and the Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association. He was actively involved with the American Bamboo Society and co-founded the Southeast Chapter of the ABS.

Adam was a Fellow of The Linnean Society of London, a learned society dedicated to the study and dissemination of information concerning natural history, evolution, and taxonomy. Coming from a background in ethnobotanical research (non-academic), he became fascinated by the temperate bamboos and began amassing a collection of hardy species for performance trials in middle Tennessee (USDA zone 6). A short time later he undertook initial training in the discipline known as Permaculture (an integrated, sustainable land use concept modeled on natural systems). Adam’s research was focused on integrated natural systems and included soil building, water harvesting and management (including aquaculture), plant communities, and, of course, bamboo’s place in it all. Adam and his wife, Sue, vended edible landscaping plants at the Franklin Farmer’s Market here in middle Tennessee for 16 years. Adam also had a great love for peonies – especially the woody tree peonies and worked on breeding them for years. During his 82 years of life, he was a Boy Scout and spent time as a carpenter, sculptor, and artisanal furniture designer/maker. He also worked as a commercial fisherman, sailor, cowboy, chef, and farmer. He served as fundraising auctioneer for several of the organizations of which he was a member. At one time he was member of an actively involved in over 20 different organizations and gave lectures internationally. Reading, gardening and thinking were his hobbies.

He was the son of retired Colonel Adam and Virginia Breckenridge. Besides his wife, Sue Turtle, he is survived by his brother John Breckenridge and sisters Kati Breckenridge and Helen Lippold as well as his son, Aaron Maggio. He is also survived by his uncle, Charles Trost, and aunt, Carolyn Havens, and a slew of cousins.

A private burial ceremony was held on Sat. October 7. A celebration of life is planned for some time in the future.


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