One of the things I have been saying for the past several years (decade?), even before we had land, was that I wanted to have a botanical sanctuary where we grow medicinals, natives, and restore native endangered plants from our region. The past two years have had big changes moving to this property, and working to create beds, gardens, prairie, wooded areas, and encourage the continued growth of natives and planting even more, particularly of the endangered and at-risk plants.
We have planted hundreds of medicinals from seedlings we started here, we have many food and medicinal beds, we have a woodland area with medicinals, mushroom logs, and wild fruit. We have a greenhouse, perennials that are ever expanding. We have done so much work, but we do always have more to do. We got to a place last winter where I felt we had done enough to qualify for a botanical sanctuary, and get our status out into the minds of our neighbors, so we have an awareness of our goals and vision for the future on this land.
I am happy to say that we found out just last week that Lunar Hollow Farm is now officially a United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary, and, a Certified Wildlife Habitat. I feel like that classification ties in well with future educational offerings, projects such as the Open Source Plant Walk Project I am working on, the native nursery I have been creating, and the ongoing expansion of this work and sharing of knowledge regarding medicinal plant growing and native cultivation. We are here to steward the land, and support the ongoing healing of this soil and landscape to supporting plants, wildlife, and microbia that would be here naturally. Living with this in harmony with human interaction and the always present monocropped landscape of the Wisconsin rural areas, we are cleaving out only a small but important space.
Our long-term goal here includes not only growing more self-sustaining foods for our own family, expanding the medicinal and native gardens to include more at risk plants, and to use this space to teach others about herbalism, plants, conservation, and more.
While the pandemic has changed our ability to have people here so far this year - we had planned on having people visit to help plant, learn more about medicinal plant growing, and to help with harvesting plants for Herbalists Without Borders clinic donations -but the land keeps growing and changing, no matter if one or 100 people are here. So, some ideas are in the works for more online offerings and the open source plant walk as app and wiki for all to use.
This summer has been a good one so far with so many new plantings and systems setup. I plan to update the master plant list and share more about some of the work we have started to lead into the future of Lunar Hollow. For now though, we celebrate our status as a Botanical Sanctuary, and think of ways to share the abundance and beauty of this space with others!
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, permaculture designer, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two young adults in south central Wisconsin.
©2007-23 Denise Cusack, all photos and text. Feel free to share my posts on FB or Twitter or online media or pin on Pinterest (thank you!), but please keep the links back to my website intact (meaning please do not take or copy my images off of this website and share them unattributed or without linking back here or use them without permission). Thank you! :)
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