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Updated: Dec 31, 2022

First things first. If you are a gardener or farmer, is everything planted? Here at Heartwood the answer is a big no. But almost!!! Where did the month go? I’m finishing up what I typically have planted in the gardens by mid June and am also starting to sow my fall crops and those that will overwinter in the hoophouse (carrots, spinach and some perennial herbs). Pictured here is Allie and Nichole. I’m very grateful for them, their helping hands and gentle spirits. Not pictured is Mikeala who has returned this year. You will see her on our social pages. She and her husband are expecting a little one in August 😊 I’m looking forward to meeting her. Volunteers and seasonal helpers will be returning in July as are my daughter, future son-in-law and granddaughters.

Did you know about our weekly herb farm walks and bundle making class every Thursday evening? Learn more at AirBnB under Experiences. We don’t have overnight accommodations but we have fun! Making Herb/Flower Bundles with Organic Herb Farm Tour — Airbnb Experience

You can also learn more and register via Eventbrite

I heard through the grapevine we had weird hours for the Apothecary and Greenhouse. That’s because we are working or teaching, going to market, maybe on a picnic or at the beach some days. Wednesday 2-6 will continue to be the hours for July. You can also call, text, order online and pick up at the farm. We’ve also added a roadside apothecary and greenhouse! Please be patient as we work this out. It is open every day! Follow our social media pages for daily updates and inventory. Herbs of course, veggies, bulk herbs, soaps, honey (soon).

Enjoy the remainder of June!

Herbal Blessings 💚


Mel enjoying a bed of Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, a common weed and most useful plant
Plants and humans need sunshine, but only plants can use that sunshine to make their own food and convert the solar energy into useful forms for itself.

I was visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden a few years back when I purchased a t-shirt that said "All Life Depends on Plants". Of course it does! On the surface, I thought of how we as humans use plants for food, shelter, medicine, clothing etc. That's what we are always taught. It wasn't until the long drive home when my mind began to wander and think deeper about the phrase. The world would survive and go on without humans, but how would the world continue without plants? What are all of the organisms that rely on plants to grow, reproduce, or simply live. This is a serious issue, and one that is in need of urgent action. I hope that I am not the first to bring this to anyone's attention.

I was working as a Botany Lab Manager at that time. I was responsible for a display case located outside of the botany lab classroom. I used the t-shirt I bought as a prop, with the title of this display as "Ethnobotany". I began to fill the case with ways that life does depend on plants, and our relationship as humans with plants, as well as animals, insects, and soil. It was FULL. And there was still more information that could have been added. There was a lot of conversations around the topic. A Microbiologist began the discussion about how microbes don't depend on plants, and how they could survive without them. Its well known that plants grow better with increased microorganisms in the soil. It has been shown that the rhizosphere (area surrounding plant roots in the soil) have higher numbers of beneficial bacteria. I asked myself, what if there weren't any plant roots, where else would the microbial material gather or thrive? Some would think that a virus doesn't need a plant, but as viruses and diseases go, they need the virus (pathogen), the right environment, and a host. Still so many questions and so much to learn.

It's not as simple as saying all life depends on plants and not thinking any further about it. I have dedicated my life to growing plants. Part of the reason is because I am fascinated with the plant world, I enjoy learning more about plants and our relationship with them, but there is another reason. I know that all is right when I am surrounded by the essence of green beings, continue to be driven by the magic of the unseen, and believe in plant spirits. I studied horticulture because it is described as the "art and science of growing plants". Somewhere, the word "spirit" needs to be included. Meet any fairy, and you'll understand.

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