Our dream is to build our gardens and then host plant walks, herbal medicine days, weed walks, hydrosol distilling classes, herbal make and take events, and more! One reason we chose this home is that there is a large space with a full bathroom, kitchenette, sitting area, door to garden, and door to garage. Having a large outdoor patio next to the garden and a private entrance is really perfect for a classroom. It is a great space for our community apothecary, consultation space, and classroom. Right now it serves as the staging and prep area for our Herbalists Without Borders Community Apothecary for the US. I also plan to host trauma trainings, medic trainings, disaster relief educational seminars, and then perhaps even herbal 101 classes.
If you have followed me for awhile, you know I am not a huge fan of garden rows. While rows make planting/weeding/harvesting easier for farmers, plants don't grow in big mono-type rows. They grow among and around other plants, they grow in patches, and they grow in specific areas that are good conditions for them - whether under deciduous trees, at the bottom of a slope, out in full sun, or where the soil is a little more rocky. While planting won't ever perfectly replicate that, integrative and regenerative permaculture and biodynamic practices, to me, work best when planting in groupings, and layering heights and levels of plants. That means our gardens won't poof! appear in one season, but will be constantly added to, expanded, and woven throughout the property to make the most of the various conditions we have on this land. By planting in this way we also won't have irrigation strips to water (but in our food beds, perhaps). Medicinal plants in the wild often do better in challenging conditions. Heat, sun, wind, rain, dry spells - they make the chemical components of those plants hum, and we know from data that lavender grown at elevation in the dry, sandy, soil of France is much more interesting chemical profile than lavender grown under irrigation in a different climate. So while I may water my medicinal plants when I transplant out and for a few days as they get established, I rarely to never ever water them again, and look to the soil, integrated plantings, and layers of plants retain water or dry out and work to grow as they will, producing strong and productive medicinals, even though cultivated.
Find out more about our goals in preserving and restoring native plantings to our land.
So, look to this space, where I will post updates, events, and more!
Plant Walks 2020
We plan to post a few plant walk events throughout the spring and summer for small groups to learn about wild natives and edible weeds, plant conservation, and growing medicinal herbs in zone 5.
Dates will be posted on the website and facebook page when we have those set!
QR Code Markers
We are working on planning QR code signage so people can scan plants and habitats as they walk through the gardens - to see photos of the plants in other seasons or habitats, to learn more about them, and to find out how the plants have been used historically as well as currently.
This project Is going to be a part of an open source herbal walk project that we will share with other herbalists, allowing us all to utilize and add to this common resource so that we can make a sustainable and free system for herbalists and botanists to use in educating the public about herbal medicinals, "weeds," and native plants.
If you are an herbalist interested in contributing to the open source herb walk web pages (photos, materia medica, or usage/recipes), or if you are interested in donating to help us get this project going, email denise@whollyrooted dot com for more info.